Lynda Hall calls for digital literacy on the web and why it is important for people to understand how to use digital platforms successfully. If someone is considered digitally literate, I think that they should be able to effectively communicate with a large group of people through principles of visual design, stylized writing, and ethics. Since people mainly skim read on the Internet, it is important for the author to grab the readers’ eye at any time possible. It is important to strategically plan one’s webpage to make it easy to navigate and intriguing. For me, if a website is aesthetically pleasing, I trust it and will read it. When people have a sense of who you are through your writing style and personality, they will trust you and read your work. The most important aspect of being digitally literate is being an ethical writer. For me, being an ethical writer can cover anywhere from plagiarism to cyber bullying. It is important to realize that there is someone who your words affect behind another computer screen. In order to be a good writer, you have to consider other’s feelings and the ethics of blogging and creating a video or podcast. These three criteria for being digitally literate can expand to any media platform and they should be considered during every step of creation.
Whether it is the opening shot of a film, or the background noise in a podcast, creativity and ethics must go hand in hand to make any digital platform successful. For me, ethics were considered at the beginning and end of every project. With my blog and personal video, I called out a lot of people for their hygienic habits. I had to ask myself, “Will this be hurting anyone or embarrassing them publicly?” I asked everyone’s permission before using their names to avoid any negative consequences of my posts. I considered ethics at the end of every project to make sure I didn’t plagiarize anyone else’s work while researching for my project. Out of all the media platforms we learned about this semester, blogging was probably my favorite. I really enjoyed finding my own creative voice and pairing it with visuals to tell a story. I think that I organized my blog posts pretty well and made them aesthetically pleasing and easy to read. I really invested time into my website and Linked-in with the hope that employers could see the strengths that I have gained from this class. I am more of a visual person and creating videos and podcasts that focused on sound was really hard for me. I could have spent more time making sure my audio was purposeful and organized. I had a hard time with planning interviews and recording because you only get one shot to get it right. Videos and podcasts are a lot harder to edit than a written blog post.
The most important skill in this class that I learned is how to engage your audience. Anyone can blog and make videos, but it is hard to catch your audience’s attention with so much competing information on the Internet. I learned many tools like how people scan websites in a “F” formation or how people ignore visuals on a web page, unlike in a book. It’s better to bullet point and split up texts with sub heads. All of these facts are helpful tools to get the reader’s attention. Once you have their attention, that is when you can sell them your product, idea, or brand. I want to go into marketing or brand management and this class helped prepare me for that.