Solutions for AFA website.

1) As mentioned before, a poster child was usually utilized as a form of motivation for people with AIDS. A way to attract more public recognition for AFA would be to use a renowned victim of AIDS as a poster person if there is any. If no such person exists, the site could convince people with AIDS to share or submit stories of their personal life with AIDS and to feature them on the site. The most intriguing of stories could be made public, with permission, for others to read and redirect back to AFA.

2) The site could also use more colour. While the original site features red and white, colours often associated with Singapore, the site appears dull in comparison to the US site researched on. Unlike the US site, the AFA site lacks a background and the US site does not use simple links. Rather, the links were designed and not a simple hyperlinked words. Animation could also help, though AFA already have animation on the photo gallery page. Also, the AFA could also create an obvious link to their social media networks, like Facebook and Youtube. Though they have such links, it is not immediately noticeable.

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Final Project Research – Prototype Website (Subject to change) and US Website

This is the AFA wesbite. I intend to revamp it, though to a certain extent, it will still resemble the original.

Original AFA Website

 

 

This is the first website prototype. It features the home page. It provides several design changes to the top portion of the website. It also corrects several grammar errors in the words and minimized the number of donation buttons from 3 to 1. If possible, I would make the large picture on top change every few seconds.

Prototype 1

This is the second prototype. This one features the photo gallery page instead of the home page. It has several elements of the first prototype, such as the number of donation buttons and the top design, though it is different. I also change the bottom parts of the web to provide consistency.

Prototype 2

This is the third website. It is similar to the second prototype, albeit with a different top design.

I have searched for other website from other countries which also aims to help people with AIDS and I found a US website. If possible, I could try to include any elements that the website has that will probably make the AFA website more attractive and user-friendly than it already is.

US Website

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Final Project Research – Ryan White CARE Act

Within the United States, they have a program known as the Ryan White CARE (Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency) Act. The program was named after a teenager, Ryan White, who led a harsh life after having contracted AIDS. During his generation, AIDS was barely understood and he became a poster child for HIV/AIDS, along with becoming an inspiration to those who also have AIDS.

 

The Ryan White CARE Act was created to ensure the availability of care for the poor and the needy victims of AIDS along with their families. Unlike other programs, like Medicare or Medicaid, Ryan White programs is treated like a last resort. Treatment will only be funded if no other resources are available. The program’s funding increases as AIDS become more widespread. The program also provide funding and technical assistance for  local and State primary medical care providers, support services and healthcare provider training programs.

 

AFA could create a similar program as the Ryan White CARE Act. They could create their own program which will provide funding for the needy victims and lesser medical-based program. They could additionally provide other forms of assistance, such as subsidies. Also, similar to the United States’s treatment of Ryan White, AFA could use a well-known AIDS victim in Singapore and use him/her as the poster person of HIV/AIDS to attract users to the site. This could inspire victims to seek help earlier and to go on with life. If no such person existed, AFA could instead allow AIDS victims to share their story in, perhaps a blog such as this, and share it to other AIDS victims or site visitors, to give them the feeling that they are not alone. This will convince AIDS victim to come back to the site to see other people’s comments or read other people’s stories.

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My Group’s Current Workload

Hussain

-Research on how other countries handle AIDS.

-Provide solutions on revamping AFA’s website.

-Make a prototype of AFA’s new website.

Jeremy

-Research on New Media Technologies such as social media (Facebook, Youtube etc.) and more.

-Propose New Media solutions for AFA.

-Consolidate the power point slides.

Derek

-Research on AFA’s current social medias if it exist.

-Compare strategies made with case studies.

-Propose online and offline campaigns.

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Guest Speakers

1) Reflect on 5 key points each of the Speaker had mentioned during his presentation.

First speaker

-The general idea of SEO

-Basics of making your website appear on search engines

-Interest in one’s job goes a long way

-Understand that clients may not understand that you have feelings

-A bit pf patience helps.

 

Second speaker

-Learning to like one’s own course will make poly life much sweeter

-Most sites usually start small and progresses

-Making a website alone is not as easy as with a group

-Blogs requires recognition to be beneficial

-Several sites are dedicated to helping blogs with being recognized and well paid.

 

2) List at least 3 things that has inspired you from this lecture.

-I feel more determined to make better use of my current blog (not this one) and possibly even advertise it on sites such as nuffnang.com.

-I now know that some clients whom I may work with in the future may not be favorable. Regardless, I should put my emotions aside for my job.

-I feel more willing to speak with strangers who may like my product, especially since I already have Youtube subscribers to entertain.

 

3) Do you think its useful to have guest speakers share their expertise, experience and “Tips & Tricks” of the Trade? (Explain)

Yes I do. Experience is usually the best teacher and hence, through the experience of these guest speakers, we could learn how work life in their jobs may be like. Also, the tips and tricks they teach us is especially useful if we ended up in a similar job in the future.

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ACM Trip

1)    Identify 2 of your favourite ACM exhibits of which the content is presented in the most creative way to enhance users interaction and overall experience.

1.       The first of the exhibits that I like is the first wing which I believe does not have a name. It focuses on the Chinese civilization and culture and possess a few audio which I am able to listen to if I wish. There is also a game there which involves the player shooting at monsters with magical arrows of a protagonist, whom I feel was related to the exhibits there.

2.       The second exhibit which I like is the Islam exhibit. Not only am I familiar with the content, but it also has a terminal there which allows people to have a try at writing Arab. It also has a puzzle which will probably interest people.

2)      Briefly describe at least 2 New Media Tools/Technologies the museum had used for public communication & education at the various exhibits?

1.       The museum greatly uses touch screen, in which the user simply have to touch the screen of a terminal to interact with its content, either a button or simply an interactive object. This comes in many different forms. Some will have a visible person on the screen speak to the user while others are videos going into detail about its content. This allows for great amounts of communication as people are able to learn different things from the different terminals.

2.       The museum’s most recently made exhibit made use of a sensory table along with a few objects capable of interacting with it. By placing the right object on the correct spot on the table, information will be shown and once that it finished, the user will have to place the rest of the objects on the correct spots to learn more. In a way, it is like a game or a puzzle, capable of catching a user’s attention and gaining a bit of entertainment.

3) To make 1-2 recommendations (using new media tools) to improve the way the current content is being presented to the public. (can include ACM’s website too)

1.       Though the touch screens are effective, it is still fairly dull for the user as they will have to simply stand or sit down while listening. A way to improve this would be to make multiple terminals around the user and make each of them show different parts of the scene, or make each of them interactive or scenic to give the user a feel of being a part of the video. Multiple people could also be used, instead of just one, to explain the content and they could even try to communicate with one another to create a conversation, adding into the user’s interest.

2.      Sometimes, people may get lost in a large museum and the signs around are often not obvious (due to the dark lightings). People may not know what exhibits they are in. With the geofencing technology, however, this could be improved. If a user enters a geofenced exhibit, a notification may play for the user’s GPS, or through a nearby speaker, to let the user know of their current location. People will probably know what they are expecting to learn from the exhibit if they heard the name beforehand.

Me at the museum. Credits goes to Jing Hong, the photographer.

ACM! Credits to Derek the photographer.
Blurry picture-proof of me, Jeremy
and Derek at ACM,
with me holding our diorama before its completion.
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My Literature Review

November 11, 2010 2 comments

Literature Review

“How the internet is changing the English language and the ways we speak”
http://savvycitizens.bcs.org/communication/how-the-internet-is-changing-the-english-language-and-the-ways-we-speak#more-1895

Introduction
This article is centered on how the English language is used after the internet was introduced and its effects, written by a linguist and former English teacher. It provided an amount of comparison between previous media trends with the internet and emphasized on how large the change is, mostly on the English language. It also provides a comparison in how we speak in different areas, namely blog and text messaging.

This article was chosen as it was probably one of the largest changes that occurred with the internet’s introduction. This is especially true in popular sites like Youtube, Facebook, Blogspot, Twitter and more. It is also one of the changes that is rarely addressed as many were either oblivious to it or does not feel that it could end up being a problem. Personally, I feel that this change is small but might become an issue if allowed to grow.

New words formed (Whilst the internet has produced some new vocabulary…)
Internet is considered one of the largest changes in media and sociology as it effectively changed the way we live and communicate. Due to its heavy usage, rising number of applications and flexibility, new words were often introduced to the English language, some of which can be considered as slang. Some examples include “emoticons”, “googling” (which was formerly a name “Google” but now a verb) and “tweeting”. These also made it outside the internet as people say it, write it or type it, even on newspaper articles.

Currently, such usage is not considered dangerous to the English language. However, its usage became widespread, to the point where it becomes added to dictionaries as new words or are treated as such. The word “google”, for instance, was the name of the search engine company Google.inc. The company founder, Larry Page, once used it as “googling” which prompts users of google to use it. Its heavy usage causes the word to be added in dictionaries as “googling” or “to google”
(http://web.archive.org/web/19991009052012/www.egroups.com/group/google-friends/3.html – Larry’s usage of “googling” at the end of the page)

(http://www.fool.com/investing/dividends-income/2006/07/05/to-google-or-not-to-google.aspx – “to google” addition to dictionaries)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Definition of google on Merriam-Webster

 

Despite Larry’s use of the word, Google felt threatened by the use of the company’s name as a verb in fear of losing it when it becomes a common figure of speech. Alas, despite Google’s attempt to discourage its use, the word was added to dictionaries and hence, became a new official verb to the English language.
(http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2006/07/7198.ars – “Google” as a verb)
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_%28verb%29 – Wikipedia’s entry on Google as a verb)

The word “tweeting”, often used by users of Twitter which means posting new posts on the site, means chirping, cheeping and peeping on the dictionary. With the addition of the internet and the formation of the Twitter blogging site, “tweeting” was more widely used to refer to adding new posts instead of its actual meaning. This has sparked a certain amount of outrage to newspaper company New York Times as the so-called verb was used in previous articles. There is also a fear of the word becoming as common as “e-mail”, yet another new word created with rise of e-mail on the internet.
(http://www.theawl.com/2010/06/new-york-times-bans-the-word-tweet – New York Times bans the word ‘tweet’)

 

 

 

“Tweet” official meaning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Tweet” definition on Twitter

 

 

Unlike New York Times’s reaction, some people treats it as an actual word in the dictionary and many have begun to discuss its past tense. Many versions were formed and some even questions if it should become an actual verb like “to google”
(http://www.economist.com/blogs/johnson/2010/10/syntactic_evolution – “to tweet” usage)
(http://www.economist.com/blogs/johnson/2010/10/grammatical_evolution – “to tweet” past tense discussion in multiple languages)

Yet another word formed by the usage of the internet is “machinima”, a mash-up of “machine” and “cinema”. “Machinima” refers to videos created using video games on the computer and creating these videos have since became hobbies to some people. Formerly a misspelling, it is widely used as a noun and the word is now used outside the internet. With the rise of such a word, other words form like “machinimist” or “machinimators”. Unlike “google” and “tweet”, “machinima” is less prominent but is still one of the many new words formed by the internet’s rise. Other words include “e-mail”, “youtubing” and more. Hence, internet has added new words to our vocabulary.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machinima – Wikipedia’s entry on “machinima”)

Internet slangs and word capitalizations (…’internet slang’…)
Other than words, new slangs were also formed. These words, often called “short forms” were indirectly caused by the convenience of the keyboards along with the internet’s easy usage, unlike writing which requires full words to properly understand. Hence, users were brought into using short forms to save keystrokes. Some examples include “lol”, “btw”, “brb” and more. These slangs were often used in chats in the internet, most notably messengers and blogs.
(http://catb.org/jargon/oldversions/jarg211.txt – A long list of internet slangs)

 

 

 

 

An example of “lol” usage on a Youtube channel

The effects of using such slangs were initially not so notable. However, its usage has begun to be used outside the internet’s chatting space and some were actually spoken. The slangs were also used in writing; especially by people who have frequented its use on the internet and this have a major impact on education as students were often required to do comprehension. Some people even insisted that the slang were the correct spelling instead of the actual word, like “your” with “ur”. This has been addressed as a serious but unavoidable problem, especially by teachers and less frequent internet users.
(http://www.syl.com/articles/chatspeakwhyinternetslangmayprovetobeahugeproblem.html – an article on internet slang and its rising problem)
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWXZ1lj5JRs – a video of a game played by four friends. At 0:32, one of the players actually said, “lol lol lol”. WARNING: A lot of screaming)

In addition, words were often fully capitalized to indicate that one is emphasizing it or saying it out louder than usual instead of the traditional bolding, italics, or underlining. Similar to slangs, this has made it into writing and was used even by authors of novels. Some users of the internet will actually capitalize all the words of their sentence to show that they are shouting. Some even considered it as confrontational or offensive and should be avoided.
(http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/dpgo_Woman_Fired_for_Shouting_in_Email_mb_08312009_3263671 – an article on someone being fired for overusing capital letters)

 

 

 

 

 

Full capitalization to show that one is saying it out loud.

Thus, internet slangs and full capitalization of words are another effect of internet.

Different texting style in different technologies (…different technologies and the way we communicate in English using these technologies…)
Video games, most notably online games, often possess a style of language which makes it noticeably different from other internet medias. This is due to the fact that such communities requires neologisms to shorten elaborate names created within the virtual world and occasionally, it conflicts with another neologism otherwise known in real life. An example is Serpentshrine Cavern from a game called World of Warcraft. It is abbreviated “SC”, which is also an abbreviation of Santa Claus, Sports Club and much more. Some words were also used differently on online games, like “Tank” and “Taunt”.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SC – List of other words abbreviated with SC)

An outdated glossary/neologisms on online game World of Warcraft

Also, other than the common internet slangs, other slangs associated with gaming is created and widely used. Some of these slangs may even possess more than one meaning and most are rather offensive. These slangs even reach outside the internet gaming world and some are openly said at times. An example is “n00b” or “newb”, both with similar pronunciation but the former referring to annoying players while the latter refers to new players. Another examples includes “gg”, which could mean “good going” in a sarcastic manner to refer to a player doing something wrong, or “good game” to compliment a well-played match. Online gaming also introduced powerful opponents, often referred to as “Elites”, and players will often abbreviate it to “Leet”. New words eventually form from this, like “Leetspeak”.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_culture – a Wikipedia entry on gaming culture)

The abbreviation “Leet” eventually became an alternative alphabet for the English Language, replacing letters with “lookalikes”, like “A” with “4” or “/-\” or “aye”. Leetspeak was formed from this and though widely used in gaming and occasionally on blogs and forums, it is believed to have been originated from bulletin board systems. Leetspeak eventually lead to the formation of slangs which is commonly heard in competitive online games, like “owned”, “pwned”, “n00b”, “haxor” and “w00t”. Such a language is considered beneficial, however, as it requires creativity to properly reinvent a word into Leetspeak, but this could impact one’s spelling capabilities outside the internet. Symbols, such as “@*&%” are also used to hide vulgarities and were implemented into several games to hide mature content.
(http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A787917 – An explanation of l33t speak)

 

 

 

 

 

“Leetspeak” definition on an online dictionary

Sometimes, these abbreviations will be used on emails, blogs and tweets on Twitter. Most are often harmless but since such medias effectively replace letter writing, the usage of such abbreviations and “Leetspeak” may be inappropriately used in written paper. Also, if vulgarities are heavily used in online gaming, it will not be censored should it be used on written paper and this could hamper one’s English Language.

Online games have not only given gamers a different gaming experience but also a change in the way they speak within, which may influence they way they speak in other places. The internet brought online games into reality; hence the internet is the source of this.

Conclusion

Overall, the internet had changed the English Language by adding new words to our dictionaries along with new slangs. It also changes the way we speak through new neologisms and “Leetspeak”.

The main strength of such a change is its convenience. It allows a much smoother way of saying things, like “to google something” instead of “to search the internet for something”. Also, by adding new words, our vocabulary will be increased. Neologisms and “Leetspeak” provide an alternative way to speak via the keyboard and to type out sentences faster.

Its weakness is more to how English is used outside the internet. Getting too used to using neologisms and “Leetspeak” may cause us to use it vocally. It might also make us mistaken which spelling over another is correct. Also, using new words provided by the internet on work or projects like composition could affect the marks earned by students as such words are not recognized as true English words on some schools. Relying on new words too much may also cause us to use it relentlessly, especially in areas which may lack the internet. Overall, our basic grammar and vocabulary is affected.

A way to minimize such a weakness is to understand which word belongs on the internet and which one does not. “Tweet”, for example, means “chirping” but it means “posting” on Twitter. Situation awareness will help in ensuring that the right word is used, along with the correct spelling. It is also recommended not to use the computer too heavily.

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