The first chapter from Carroll was concerned with links and headlines, which are vital in online writing. This chapter is probably one that I will constantly refer to throughout this course. I feel linking and writing headlines are definitely things I need to improve and this chapter was extremely informational and helpful.
Hypertextuality and headlines
In regards to links, Carroll emphasized the importance of using them correctly. What makes hypertextuality so influential is that the user dictates what he or she wants to read instead of the author or producer deciding for the reader.
That being said, Carroll spent a good amount of time explaining that links need to provide the reader with information as to where it will lead. Most commonly, links will lead readers to supporting evidence or references that the author has used, but the reader must be able to differentiate where each link will lead them.
Links also promote scanability, but cannot be used too often. There is often a limit as to how far a reader is willing to travel around the internet to get information, so online writers must be able to use them effectively and informatively.
Headlines are a struggle for me. The main lesson I took from this chapter was that dull and informative trump cute every day. That is definitely something I have a problem with. I am constantly looking for some cheesy line to use as a headline but they never end up having anything to do with what the article is actually about. This blog will be very good practice in making headlines useful but having a personal touch as well.
Headlines and subheads allow the article to be scannable and easy to read. With these, the reader can decide whether to skip a certain section or stay and read it. Because they are so important to the reader, they must be informative and useful in context.
Effective use of the blog
Our second chapter was entirely focused on the blog. Citizen journalism is taking over as a new form of news media and that has created a debate between traditional journalists and new media investigators. With the internet, citizens are open to a whole new world of possibilities and options as platforms for their own opinions.
Blogs are also used by large corporations as a way to reach out to clients and customers, mostly to receive feedback and promote discussion about products or events.