A Walk Through A Slide

For an assignment in my Writing Arts course, we were assigned to make a Pecha Kucha, which is a slide show that uses 1 photo per slide and no words. The slides change every 20 seconds. Pecha Kucha prevents “death by powerpoint” and ensures the presenter will not just be reading off of a slid. Here is a walk through one of my slides..

A Walk Through A Slide

For the Pecha Kucha assignment, my blog group and I decided on the topic of blogging becoming mainstream. My five slides were first and with these slides, I discussed the history of blogging.

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Although I put a lot of thought into each of my slides for the Pecha Kucha assignment, my favorite slide was my last slide. My final slide shows a girl painting her nails red at her computer desk. With this slide, I discussed the fact that blogs are a large part of our culture and many blogs are related to hobbies and interests. I then introduce the growth of beauty blogs as a type of hobby and interest blog in recent years.

My slides leading up to this slide showed little to no beauty aspect since they were used to discuss the history of blogging, rather than the beauty angle. Therefore, this slide is the first to show any type of beauty or glamour. As soon as I saw this picture, I knew my search was over and it was perfect for my final slide.

I chose this picture because even though the girl is sitting in front of her computer, she has her laptop and mouse pushed out of the way and is painting her nails red. She has all her nail tools on the desk, along with her stapler remover, scissors, agenda and other stationary tools. I believe this picture is a perfect representation of beauty blogging. Even down to using the color red as an accent color is perfection because nothing screams glamour like the color red.

With this image, I used information from an article to help introduce the popularity of beauty blogging. The article I chose was, “A Brief History of Blogging.” The article was exactly that, a brief history of blogging. The article gave the important dates and milestones of blogging and discussed how blogs moved past just political and world news and are now focusing on interests and hobbies, like beauty blogs.

I see this slide as a perfect introduction to the topic of beauty blogging. With the computer and stationary supplies on the desk along with the nail tools and nail polish it shows the aspect of writing as well as the aspect of beauty. I think it was a good end point to my part of the presentation as well as a good starting point for the next presenter. Looking back at it now, I don’t think there is much I would change about this slide. I definitely would not change the image, if anything, I would expand on my discussion about beauty blogs more than just stating how they have grown exponentially in recent years.

What I Learned about my Blog Topic

For this module, my blog group and I chose the topic of beauty blogs. I was excited to start a beauty blog and write about a topic I am interested in. I haven’t studied beauty blogging exactly, but I did go to cosmetology school, so I studied beauty. I also worked at a salon for about 2 years before deciding I wanted to go to college to become a teacher. I enjoyed working in the beauty industry, but I saw it as more of a hobby than a career. It is a lot harder work than people think and the hours are terrible. But all in all it was a fun experience and even though I no longer work at a salon, I still love hair and makeup and experimenting with both.

Although I was excited to write a beauty blog, I was worried about relating the class reading to the blog topic, but it was actually easier than I thought. The two reading from Bolter were relatable. The one, “Introduction: Writing in the Late Age of Print,” discussed the shift we are experiencing in print and how we are now living in a time that is being coined as the “late age in print.” Bolter visited the topic of the rapid growth in technology and stated that as new technologies present themselves, the idea of print is being left behind. One of these new technologies is blogging. In recent years, following the early 2000’s, blogging has grown and now, pretty much everyone has a favorite blog or even writes their own blog.

We also got the opportunity to choose readings outside the class for our blog entries, which was a little easier. My first blog using an outside source was “And the “Father of Year” Award Goes To…” which discussed an article I read about a single father going to beauty school to learn how to do hair for his daughter. Obviously this story was adorable, but my focus was more on how after taking classes at beauty school, the single dad started a blog and Facebook page showing other single dads and hair struggling parents how to complete simple hairstyles for their children.

I also read an article from the New York Times, “Beauty Bloggers Parlay Social-Media Success into Entrepreneurship” about successful beauty bloggers and how these women made a career out of beauty blogging. I took what I learned from the article and wrote a blog post, which focused on the three women in the article as well as how these women turned blogging into a career.

I found both the in class and out of class readings to be both informative and interesting. I learned a lot about my topic when it comes to the blogging aspect, rather than the beauty aspect. Although I follow a lot of beauty blogs, I am glad I got the opportunity to start my own. I am sometimes a little reluctant to give in to technology, but starting a blog was easier than I thought and it was fun to write about a topic I have interest in, rather than a topic given to me by a professor. I am even thinking of continuing to “beauty blog” this summer when I have some free time.

Tweet Tweet.. by Amanda Darpino

Prior to this module, Twitter and tweeting were definitely foreign to me. As a class requirement, we had to tweet, which was weird to me. At first I wasn’t completely sure what to tweet, then I began tweeting about the articles we were assigned to read as well as other quotes I read about writing. I also tweeted whenever I added a new blog post to my blog, Fashion Forward Student. I did not get much feedback on my tweets besides a few “favorites” and even fewer comments, but I blame that on not having many followers.

I do believe Twitter is great for connecting with people in a professional community, more so than Facebook or other social networking sites. In order to find people in my professional community, I searched “#education” and found endless tweets about different issues in education. I did reply to a few of these tweets, but unfortunately, my replies went unnoticed, but my feelings weren’t hurt. Since getting acquainted with Twitter, I realized it is difficult keeping up with replies, even though I have got so few of them. This is mainly because I am so new to Twitter and still learning how to navigate the site, but I noticed the professionals I replied to have A LOT of followers, which is why my comment probably got lost in the sauce. I have a handful of followers and at times it is days before I notice a reply or message on my Twitter and that’s why I forgive these professionals for ignoring me. I have forgiven and forgotten.

One of the first professionals i tweeted was Dr. Justin Tarte. I chose the following tweet to reply to:

The most dangerous phrase in #educationpic.twitter.com/RPqxKR99qB

— Dr. Justin Tarte (@justintarte) February 18, 2015

The image that accompanies this tweet is a photo of the quote, “The most dangerous phrase in the language is “we’ve always done it this way.”

To which I replied:

 @TimElmore technology is taking over the classroom. as long as we incorporate those devices in the classroom, we will have the best of both

— Amanda Darpino (@AmandaDarpino) February 22, 2015

So, my second attempt was better, but still no reply. 

I believe this is because Tim Elmore has 33.8K followers and follows 28.3K.

His bio reads: President of @GrowingLeaders. Author of #Habitudes. Committed to training the next generation of leaders.

Tim Elmore posts about relevant education issues frequently. He follows fellow educators and leaders in education. By visiting his list of followers, i was able to find many other professionals in my field to follow. 

Although Twitter is still new to me, I believe it is great for getting in contact with fellow professionals. It is not my first choice for social networks, but that could change one I build my followers and learn to navigate the site better.

Woah Target, Too Much.. by Amanda Darpino

Now, maybe I’m naive, but I was shocked by what I learned from the article “How Companies Learn Your Secrets.” I knew companies had access to a lot of information, but according to this article, there is a lot more companies know than you think. At Target, each customer has a Guest ID number, which keeps a record of everything you buy as well as if you use a credit card or coupon, fill out a survey, mail in a refund, call customer service, open an email, or visit Target’s website. All this information gets recorded and linked to your Guest ID. So yes that is a lot of information, but this is not what I found so shocking. It is all the other information that is linked to your Guest ID that shocks me, such as, how long it takes you to drive to the store, your estimated salary, whether you’ve moved recently, what credit cards you carry in your wallet and what Web sites you visit.

Target can also buy data about your ethnicity, job history, the magazines you read, if you’ve ever declared bankruptcy, where you went to college, what kinds of topics you talk about online, and your political leanings. So you know, just the basic, personal details all Target’s should know.. Not.

Although I find this all very creepy, Target uses this information to learn about their customers so they can ensure their customers are using Target as their primary store and getting all their products from Target. Target uses the science of habit formation to accomplish this goal and a main component in the habit formation is all the personal details of customers.

The article gives the example of a women who buy swimsuits in April. Send those customers coupons for sunscreen in July and diet books in December. Makes sense, right? So although Target and other large retailers are using the science of habit to hook and reel customers in, I can’t help but feel a bit violated. A lot of the information they are gathering is very personal and it raises a concern of where they are obtaining it all from. Like i said at the beginning of the article, I may be naive about this whole topic because I would be lying if i said my mouth and eyes weren’t wide open in shock as I read this article.

I am going to have to start paying closer attention to what coupons Target sends me. What does your Guest ID say about you? Just take a look at your coupons to see if you can figure it out.

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The Facebook Ban has been Lifted… by Amanda Darpino

no fb

As a class assignment, I was asked to abstain from all Facebook activity for seven day! Prior to this assignment, I would have said i was not addicted to Facebook at all, but I quickly learned my dependence on Facebook was stronger than i thought. I use Facebook in times of boredom. At work, during commercial breaks, or while waiting in line at a store.

During the Facebook-less week, I will admit, there were several times I clicked the Facebook app on my phone out of habit. After the first two day, I had to move the app to its own page on my iphone to keep from using it. After doing that, there were many times i went on my phone and looked to my Facebook apps old spot and felt a pang of longing. Okay, that’s a bit dramatic, but my finger did hover over where the app once was before I realized I couldn’t use Facebook.

Well, I obviously survived the Facebook blackout period, but I did feel out of the loop for  a week. For an entire week I missed out on people’s status rants, relationship status updates, and photos of meals. Also, I had to actually do my job, watch commercials, and read tabloid headlines while in line at stores.

It was hard not to cheat, but I did my best. However, on Valentine’s day, I uploaded a picture to Instagram and clicked to link it to Facebook. I don’t count this as cheating though because technically i did not log onto or use the Facebook app to do this (spoken like a true Facebook addict).

To say I was excited to log into Facebook Wednesday morning might be an understatement. I will admit, it felt good to sign on and have so many notifications. I also had a lot of newsfeed to catch up on and a ton of BuzzFeed articles I needed to read.

Although this was an interesting experiment, I do not think I will be giving up Facebook again any time soon.

Fellow Beauty Bloggers Find Big Time Success! by Amanda Darpino

Blogs are a fun, creative outlet, but sometimes what starts out as a hobby can turn into a career.

Cara Brook, age 28, is the creator of popular beauty blog Maskcara.com and in November of 2014, Cara began selling her own line of products via her blog. The Las Vegas native began selling her contouring kit, HAC pack ($47) and foundation ($26). In 2013, Cara was named Allure magazine’s Beauty Blogger of the Year and in her interview, she said her innovation came from her frustration with the highlighting and contouring products on the market. Her frustration led her to order raw ingredients to experiment with creating her own makeup. Both products have been selling and Cara credits the success of her new line to her blog readers saying, “They’re so intelligent, down to earth and sweet.”

Cara wasn’t always a successful beauty blogger, in fact, when she first began writing, her main blog posts were based on sample products she got from Sephora. After a year of blogging about these sample products, Cara’s sister, Rachel, called from a salon where she had just given a pedicure to a woman whose company manufactured makeup for Sephora and Bath & Body Works. They worked together for two years to create the Maskcara line, testing it on readers who signed up for makeovers. Today, there is currently a waiting list for the makeovers!

Cara’s childhood dream of inventing her own beauty products became a reality with the help of social media, but she isn’t the only one who found success via social media. Michelle Phan, 28, began posting makeup tutorials on YouTube in 2007 and now has over five million subscribers! In 2010, she collaborated with Lancôme and this year, Michelle introduced a makeup line called Em Cosmetics, backed L’Oréal, Lancôme’s parent corporation. Her products include Chiaroscuro, a contour and highlighter stick ($24) and Waterliners, skinny eyeliners ($18) as well as collections of eye shadow, blush, and lipsticks.

Another successful beauty blogger, Maria Morrison, 39, took a different angle and started a nail-polish blog. A search for the perfect shade of purple nail polish led her to create her own, which she cleverly named My Kind of Cool Aid. Now, this shade sells along side of various other shades, each selling for $12 on her online site, Cult Nails. Maria states, “the line is as organically made as possible, and is vegan and cruelty-free,” based on the input of Maria’s teenage daughter who is vegetarian.

What started out as a childhood dream, fun hobby, or vanity project via social media has turned into entrepreneurship for these three successful beauty bloggers.

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Electronic Writing for the Win.. by Amanda Darpino

In chapter two, Writing as Technology, Bolter discusses different writing spaces, and while I automatically thought of writing spaces as physical locations where people do their writing, he uses writing spaces as a way to describe the different modes people use to write. Writing spaces include a spiral notebook, a word document, even a Facebook status post. Bolter states, “Literacy is, among other things, the realization that language can have a visual as well as an aural dimension, that one’s words can be recorded and shown to others who are not present at the time of the recording.” This would be referring to videos, such as a YouTube video. Bolter includes this in his description of the various writing spaces.

As I’ve said before, when I read “writing spaces,” my mind instantly went to a physical location, such as a library or a living room or bedroom. But Bolter is referring instead to the different modes of writing. When people think of writing, a video or audio is probably not their first thought. This is considered the electronic writing space. According to Bolter, “The electronic writing space may seem to be severed from the material world in a way that the space of print was not. Enthusiasts for the electronic writing space often promote as revolutionary its dynamic and autonomous character – the fact that Web pages and multimedia can act as well as react.”

Until reading this article, I never thought much about the different modes of writing and I found Bolter’s statements on electronic writing to be most interesting. Maybe because it is so prominent in the world we live in or maybe because I never even considered electronic writing as a mode, specifically videos and audio. Electronic writing definitely has its advantages and like enthusiasts, I agree that Web pages allowing people to act as well as react opens a whole new realm for writing.

For example, electronic writing works great for beauty blogs, videos, and tutorials. Giving tips and tricks via electronic writing allows people to watch and hear actual tutorials. This makes it easier to follow along step by step. With a video, you are able to pause on a certain step as well as rewind if you miss a step. And if you are as bad at makeup as I am, the features of pause and rewind will come in handy. Also, with the option to act and react, you get to see other people’s opinion about the post or video. Other self-proclaimed beauty experts are able to post comments on the bogs, videos, and tutorials to add more insight to the beauty tip or trick. This mode of writing opens up new possibilities for the beauty enthusiasts.

And the “Father of the Year” award goes to… by Amanda Darpino

Hey, guys! Check out this awesome story about single dad, Greg Wickherst, who went to hair school in order to learn how to do his 3-year-old daughter’s hair. Shortly after beginning basic cosmetology classes, Greg was able to do a simple braid, a fishtail braid, and a french braid.

After learning the new hairstyles for Izzy, Greg began to share what he learned via Facebook, where he gives pointers and tutorials for other parents. Now, other single dads can look to Greg’s Facebook page learn hairstyles for their children. Greg even started a new Facebook page solely dedicated to Izzy’s hairstyles. The page is Greg Wickherst’s Dads Guide to Surviving Hair.

In the “About” section of this page, Greg explains, “This page is dedicated to dads (and moms) around the world that would like help with doing their kids hair, and basic parenting advice.”

The page has received a lot of attention and since the article about Greg went viral. Greg even posted about Aston Kutcher recently sharing his post.

Although Greg’s story heart warming to say the least, it also brings up the topic of beauty tips through social media. Just like Greg is sharing his tips and pointers to fellow parents who struggle doing their toddlers hair,other people are using social media to share their beauty knowledge. Social media is a quick and easy way to both learn and share beauty tips.

Now, it is easier than ever to stay on top of beauty trends with social media. For example, almost everyone, including me is loving the winged eyeliner look. Although this look seems effortless, nothing more than a quick flick with the eyeliner pencil, it is a lot more complicated than it looks. After many failed attempts at this hot, new trend, i looked to social media for tips and pointers.I simply went to YouTube and searched “winged eyeliner tutorial” and in minutes, i was able to find countless video tutorials giving the steps to achieve the winged eyeliner look. 

YouTube is a great starting point for beauty tutorials, but you can also look to beauty blogs and Facebooks pages or Pinterest. Pinterest does not have videos, but you can get step by step instructions that include pictures, which is also very helpful. So, whether its a blog post, Pinterest pin, or YouTube video, social media is a great source for beauty tips and pointers. 

Bolter by Amanda Darpino

In chapter one, “Writing in the late age of print,” the “industrial age of print” is discussed. This marked a time of writers and publishers taking advantage of mechanized presses to create mass-publication newspapers, magazines, and novels (Bolter, J.D. 2001). The shift to mechanized printing displaced handwriting and the printed book became the most highly valued form of writing. We are again witnessing a shift in print and are now living in a time that is being coined as the “late age in print.” With the rapid growth of electronic technology, new possibilities now present themselves that are leaving the idea of print behind. “As we look up from our computer keyboard to the books on our shelves, we may be tempted to ask whether ‘this will destroy that’” (Bolter, J.D. 2001).

I related the “late age in print” to today’s change over from books to E-books. When I first heard of the Kindle, I had to have one. The thought of having a single device that holds over 1,500 books was both mind blowing and a dream come true to readers everywhere. Not only was it possible to carry hundreds of books in one hand, but I could now buy new books from anywhere. I could buy a new book from my desk at work or while sitting in my favorite reading spot in my room, no matter the time or location, with a few clicks of the Kindle keyboard, I could have a new book in minutes. All I had to do was search the Kindle store and download. Two easy steps that ensured I would never again have to worry about finishing a book without having a new one ready to read.

Although I am fascinated by this new technology, there are many people who do not share my enthusiasm for the Kindle or other E-readers. These people will argue that there is nothing better than an actual book. They will say an E-book cannot deliver the pleasure of flipping pages or the “book smell” that an actual book offers. While it is true that you cannot flip the pages of a Kindle and there is no scent of paper, ink, and the adhesive holding it all together, there is a new convenience that the Kindle and other E-books offer. A convenience that in my opinion trumps both page flipping and the scents a book gives off.

I do believe the electronic technologies pertaining to books to be on the rise, while printed books are on a slow decline. However, I do not see printed books to become altogether left behind. Not in this lifetime anyway.