When blogging first appeared it was merely a way for people to publicize their journals and diaries. People would write to express themselves, never really expecting the blogs to be read. Now a days there are many different forms of “blogging” that have allowed people to communicate with people around the world. At the end of the day your blog functions much like a customer relationship management tool so a good CRM like Sage 300 or something similar running in the background to keep track of your contacts is always a valuable addition to a successful blog. As technology grows blogs have begun to expand into sites that make it easier for people to communicate and connect with each other…such as article sharing sites and many social media websites with a focus on writing.
The tradition blog is an extension of a private journal—where writers just write their thoughts and opinions. Here bloggers share what they feel is important and are connected with others who share these thoughts and opinions. The blog allowed people the chance of being read by millions and allowed the freedom of writing for one’s self and the intended audience. The blog is the perfect opportunity for the technology generation to exercise their right of free speech in countries that allow it, and the opportunity for anonymity in the countries that do not.
HubPages is a new, advanced, blogging site that allows writer to express themselves in even more ways. The site allows users to publish Hubs, which are longer then blog posts and filled with pictures, quizzes, tables, and more. The site has certain requirements for Hubbers, and requires that writers have a purpose and create original pieces that will be interesting and enjoyable. This is a great example of how much the traditional blog has come in recent years: to a place of complete communication and information sharing.
Twitter is a social media website that connects people to other people by having them write (or Tweet) very short blurbs of less than 140 characters. This is an advancement of writing, because it forces writers to carefully craft a perfect Tweet that will be enjoyed and appreciated. This is a great exercise because it allows writers to focus their thoughts and communicate through one line exclamations.
Blogging and internet writing has certainly come a long way in recent years. The internet is now filled with thousands of ways individuals can express themselves with their writing. The many different types of these social media and writing websites is excellent proof of how much technology and the human race has evolved.
Humans have come a long way in preserving our histories with the written word: from cave paintings to chisels and tablets to large printing machines that only printed Bibles to the thousands of publishing companies out there today. One of the great, newer, advancements in publishing is the act of self-publishing. Since the boom of the internet millions have published their work online through blogs and such; however in recent years individuals have been given the opportunity to have their novels and other works published as real print books through the use of self-publishing websites. This great technological advancement has given writers the freedom to control their work and have it presented to the public in less time than traditional publishing.
The Website Services
There are quite a few different self-publishing websites for the do it yourself writer, these include: Amazon’s CreateSpace, LuLu.com, SelfPublish.com, and many more. Each site offers writers the editing services for additional fees as well as formatting guides. Lulu.com will publish in paperback and hardback, and CreateSpace will only publish in paperback—though CreateSpace overs authors the opportunity to sell on Amazon as Print On Demand, which will help in production and selling costs. None of the services will advertise the books; this is up to the independent author.
Tools for Book Presentation
As this is self-publishing, it is up to the author to ensure their book is suitable, error-free, and well presented. This will require a lot of editing on the part of the writer, as well as the need to hire an editing service or a freelance editor. It is also up to the author to format their book and ensure the cover and illustrations are excellent. Authors can use the templates provided from the services and can also use many book cover illustration websites, such as Cover Creator. Authors are always given proofs of their books to check for errors and also have the option to reprint their books if needed.
A New Publishing Frontier
Self-publishing is assessable to average people due to the great advancements in technology and the internet. Printing machines are easier to understand and are more easily purchased, and the development of Print on Demand allows for cost savings for the author and the service provider. This new advancement has allowed for millions more novels and stories to be offered to the billions of readers in the world.
“It’s a shortcut…The machine knows where it is going…” this is a part of a conversation between Michael Scott (Steve Carell) and Dwight Shrute (Rainn Wilson) in the season four episode four of NBC’s The Office. Scott says this right before driving his car into a lake, he does this because he listened too obediently to his GPS.
A Tool, Nothing More
The situation above was played for comedic effect; however, many people have actually driven into bodies of water or other unusual places after placing too much faith in their GPS. Now, a GPS is a very useful tool when navigating the road—much easier then looking back and forth between a map and the street—but, it is still just a tool.
Before plugging in an address and pulling out you driveway, it is important to follow some useful guidelines for using this tool. GPS directions are not always 100% accurate, no matter how updated the maps are. There will always be an instant when the GPS is of by one or two houses, or even a street. Another useful piece of advice is to look up your destination first on a real map or using MapQuest or Google Maps (which also are not always accurate). This will allow you extra confidence in knowing where to go, especially if you are able to find an image of the location through the map tools.
One of the most important things to remember when using a GPS is to use caution when driving, stopping, and parking. Even if you are driving a short distance, you should ensure your gas tank is nearly full and your car has an emergency kit well stocked. Also, if you end up in a place that looks unsafe, and you cannot locate your destination, you should stay in the car and drive to a store parking lot. Once in a safe place you can look at the GPS maps and try to see where you are.
The Machine Does Not Know Where It Is Going
One last thing to keep in mind is that as useful as a GPS might be, it is not a person and does not have human logic or insight. When traveling with a GPS use your common sense and instincts to ensure your car does not end up in a lake or worse.
“The dream is an old one: to have in one place all knowledge, past and present” (Kelly P. 1). The human race has long desired to have all its historical images and writings preserved and accessible using one source. In the year 2006 Kevin Kelly wrote an article entitled “Scan This Book!” in which he explained the then current process of scanning books and documents unto the internet for public viewing. He believed that soon all reading would be down digitally.
Throughout the article Kelly compiled evidence in support of his prediction that eventually all documents will be digitized to form one large Universal Library. Google, along with other search engines, had begun to scan in books to be accessed on its websites. Due to copyright issues some of the books only had excerpts; but in other cases they were allowed to scan in the whole book. The main road block for being able to scan all printed books into a Universal Library is the issue of copyrights, especially when it is unclear who owns the rights to a book. Kevin Kelly claimed that eventually the lure of the screen will overcome the need of printed books and that “the technology of search will transform isolated books into the universal library of all human knowledge” (Kelly P.13). Kelly envisioned a future where printed books grew dust as the digital word expanded into reader’s hands and minds.
The World Today
Today, we have many forms of digitally accessing published books. Through the use of e-readers and tablets, readers can have thousands of books in one place. Nooks, Kindles, and Ipads all grant access to the written word and also provide useful reading tools—highlighting, note-taking, dictionaries, and bookmarks. Also, magazines and newspapers have strained away from print and have started to post more on the online versions of their information sources. Digital writing and reading has expanded so much that every business from local diners to the Disney Company has taken to online blogging, adverting, Tweeting, and Facebooking. Schools have even put an emphasis on online learning and utilizing technologies for projects. It would appear as though Kevin Kelly was accurate in predicting that traditional printed books and communications would start to fade as we are now entering a new digital era.
Kelly, Kevin. “Scan This Book!” New York Times Magazine (Sunday, May 14, 2006): 1-13.
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A few days ago the movie Frozen, by Disney, was released on DVD and Blu-Ray, this computer animated children’s movie is one major example of how far technology has come in regards to animation. Animation, like all movie styles, is still new for the human race and it has come a long way since its development. The format that Frozen was created in (computer animation) is so new in fact, that the creators themselves are still beginners—the Disney company had to partner with Pixar in order to create its first computer animated full length movies.
In The Beginning
At first Animators could only create short clips (cartoons) that would air before live action movies in the cinemas. This was due to lack of technology and the length of time it took to draw and produce just one little cartoon. The first animations typically used sound effects and strong visuals for the stories.
Disney’s Animation Acceleration
Walt Disney was the first person who thought animation could appear in a full length feature. Many were skeptical of his vision; they did not think he would attract an audience that would wish to watch cartoons for more than an hour. They were proven wrong, though, once Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs hit the cinemas and became an overnight sensation. Disney soon created many more animated films and was followed by other movie companies—each competing for a brand new movie audience: children and families.
Computer animation really started to pick up in the 1990’s, with little shorts done by Pixar and a few others. It really started to pick up when Pixar decided to create a full length picture—Toy Story. Once that became a success Pixar, and other companies, started to create computer animated films. And the animators only grow in skill as the years go by and they are able to create new computer animated successes.
21st Century And Beyond
In just the thirteen years of the start of this century, we are already well into creating new and exciting animator works. Animation improves every couple of years with artists learning new techniques and with the advancement of new technologies. Today everyday people can create and upload onto the web their unique animated projects and creations. One can only imagine what the next one hundred years will bring to the world of animation.