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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

The Good Oil


With the crushing disappointment of losing the President-Elect of LIANZA election I am implementing Plan B. 🙂

When committing to stand for President-Elect I had to give some thought into what that would entail, and also into what I would do if I was not elected. Thus I have had several plans for the coming year percolating in the background.

Plan A was to win and spend a lot of time and energy on LIANZA business. But alas alack that was not to be. 😦

So Plan B, and what is it.

The first part of Plan B was to resign from the IKAROA committee effective immediately, which I have done. I was a bit nervous about doing that as I thought it may look like I was throwing my toys out of the cot, but I feel it is necessary so as I can put all of my energies now into Plan B.

The rest is long term. I have the following items to work on through the next year:

A: My writing – as some of you know I have really been engaged in my writing, and have just finished the first draft of a novel. I want to try and get that published, and later in the year I hope to put it up as a serialised audio-book on podio-books.com.

B: Diligent room – I intend to devote more time to writing here, and putting up more in-depth articles. Next year I have to submit my re-validation journal as part of the registration process, and as I have not completed it (or really started it)  I will be putting up a serious of posts here discussing my progress. Maybe that will help others.

C:LIANZA – By removing myself from the official parts of the organisation I intend to free myself up to be more critical of LIANZA. I have held my tongue on a number of issues and I no longer feel constrained to do that. I am going to be a noisy wheel.

D: Tararua Community Archives – Here in Tararua we currently don’t have any sort of community archives. The main part of my energies is going to be in attempting to form a group to establish an archives. I will be researching and fundraising for that.

So there you go.  It’s full tilt ahead.

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I have been browsing through my text for the course I am doing as part of a Certificate in Web Design from the Open Polytechnic. The course is called Writing for the Web, and the text is Write Me A Web Page, Elise by Rachel MacAlpine.  

One of the parts of the course, and the book is editing you page to maximise readability. It seems they don’t like justification, which I do, so I might have to get over that. A really interesting bit is the concept of f-shape in documents.  Apparently eyetracking visualizations show that users often read Web pages in an F-shaped pattern: two horizontal stripes followed by a vertical stripe. I have seen this briefly before, but never had an opportunity to really explore it.

  • Users first read in a horizontal movement, usually across the upper part of the content area. This initial element forms the F’s top bar.
  • Next, users move down the page a bit and then read across in a second horizontal movement that typically covers a shorter area than the previous movement. This additional element forms the F’s lower bar.
  • Finally, users scan the content’s left side in a vertical movement. Sometimes this is a fairly slow and systematic scan that appears as a solid stripe on an eyetracking heatmap. Other times users move faster, creating a spottier heatmap. This last element forms the F’s stem.

I am not convinced, as to whether this is true, mainly because I don’t read like that, yet it seems an intuitive way to read. I had a vague chicken/egg question to it, since a lot of pages have often been formatted like that, do we read like that naturally, or do we read like that because that’s the most common formatting structure?. 🙂

As a result I was looking at our OPAC, and I looked at other OPAC’s as well, keeping the F-shape in mind. I don’t know how many of the graphic designers had that as a brief, but a lot of OPACs are formatted to maximise the f-shape. This blog doesn’t, as the side bar hangs along the right of the screen, not the left, which makes me wonder if I need to find a theme that puts it on the other side. 🙂  

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Reading and Writing


“Nearly universal literacy is a defining characteristic of today’s modern civilization; nearly universal authorship will shape tomorrow’s.”

We as librarians are more often than not concerned about how people are reading, and how do we facilitate that reading. Sometimes it might be a good plan to look at how writing is evolving to give us clues as to how people will be reading 🙂 .

Here is a link to a New York Times blog on the revolution in writing. The comments are quite interesting.

And here is a link the original article the Times was linking to. See below for the start.

“Nearly everyone reads. Soon, nearly everyone will publish. Before 1455, books were handwritten, and it took a scribe a year to produce a Bible. Today, it takes only a minute to send a tweet or update a blog. Rates of authorship are increasing by historic orders of magnitude. Nearly universal authorship, like universal literacy before it, stands to reshape society by hastening the flow of information and making individuals more influential.”

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