Blogging Style & Categorising Posts

We also discussed Laws of Gestalt – these are standards (elements and principles) of design laws, they help you avoid information looking disorganised and disconnected.

The Laws of Gestalt explained are “the sum of the whole is greater than its parts.” An arm and a leg are nice to have but they generally work better when combined with hands, feet, eyes, ears, and all our other body parts.

What does this have to do with desktop publishing, you ask? In simple terms, a great graphic in an advert may look good but it won’t guarantee sales. Combine it with a good caption, great copy, an easy to read headline font, and attention-grabbing color and you’re on your way to making more sales than you can handle. It’s all those bits and pieces of the ad put together that give it “good gestalt.”

6 principles related to gestalt, in the context of design, include:

  • Proximity
  • Similarity
  • Prägnanz (Figure-Ground)
  • Symmetry
  • “Common Fate”
  • Closure

The example image below includes, Similarity, Proximity and Closure

Categorising Posts In WORDPRESS

Here is a great video on how to categorise posts – for example keeping all the Blog Posts together.

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SEO Search Engine Optimisation

SEO allows you to improve the visibility of your website or a web page in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) used by Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.

Search Engines index websites for their use of these keywords or search terms, and use this index as the basis of a Ranking System which they use to determine which sites should appear higher in the results.  By correctly highlighting the focus of your page, it is possible to become more prominent in SERPS for pages of similar content, when searched for with relevant words.  In a nutshell, it is about bringing visitors to your website and keeping them there!

Organic SEO

There are 2 types or organic/natural SEO, Onsite which improves a web page’s position in Search Engines by making changes to the actual web page and Offsite which improves it by Social Media Campaigns or Content & Inbound Marketing.  Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Tools such as Pay Per Click and AdWords assist in moving up the rankings!

Keyword Research

This is a practice used to find out what search words people enter into search engines this enables you to use the correct words on your website content so you attract the correct audience which in turn allows you to determine the amount of times a keyword or phrase appears on a webpage (this is known as Keyword Density).   The 2 main Keyword Research Tools are WordTracker http://www.wordtracker.com and Google AdWords https://adwords.google.com

On-Site Keyword Optimisation

You can optimise all of the following on your Web Page:-

  • The website name and the website URL
  • Each Page and Post name and URL
  • The words used for Categories and Tags
  • Headings (especially the first) in each Page and post
  • The first paragraph of each Page and Post
  • The entire content of each Page and Post
Off-Site Keyword Optimisation
  • Submit to Google Web Tools & Analytics
  • Network with site admins of sites ranking for your keywords (link building)
  • Submit site to web directories (DMOZ etc)
  • Build Backlinks with secure 1-way inbound links from reputable sources.
  • Good use of Social Media – using your keyword research, SM is searchable too!

Google WebMaster

google-webmaster-tools-differences To place GWT on your WordPress Blog see below!

  • Sign up to GWT and sign your site up.
  • Place Google code on your site:
  • In WordPress.com go to: Dashboard – Tools – Available Tools.
  • View reports for your website.
  • Add an XML sitemap to let GWT know your website’s Pages & Posts organisation  (e.g. yoursite.wordpress.com/sitemap.xml)

Google Analytics

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Copyright & Property

download Intellectual Property – IP & Copy Rights

Copyright gives the creator of “an original work exclusive rights to it”, usually for a limited time.  It refers to the right to copy and gives the copyright holder the right to be credited for the work, to determine who may adapt the work, who may perform the work, who may financially benefit from it, and other related rights.

  • The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
  • It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent DRM measures that control access to copyrighted works.
  • It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself.

web-charts-20121IMRO is the Irish Music Rights Organisation and they protect where original music is played and broadcast.

google image searchGoogle Image Search enables you to find out the true source of an image for citation.

Social Media Tools

This week we were introduced to Social Media as a Tool, as a Promotional Service and integrating Social Media into our Blog.

What is Social Media – Social Media allows  2-way communication that gives everyone the ability to be both broadcaster and audience”

In “student speak” here is a different explanation”

Twitter – I’m eating a donut!

Facebook – I like donuts!

Foursquare – This is where I eat donuts!

Instagram – Here’s a photo of my donut!

YouTube – Here’s a video of me eating my donut!

LinkedIn – My skills include donut eating!

Pinterest – Here’s a donut recipe!

LastFM – I am now listening to donuts being eaten!

G+ – I am a Google employee who eats donuts!

Other popular Social Media Sites include Flickr (photos sharing), YouTube (video sharing), Audio Boo (audio recording sharing), Digg (article/link sharing) and StumbledUpon (content/link sharing).

WHAT IS A WIDGET “an application, or a component of an interface, that enables a user to perform a function or access a service”
Otherwise known as software tools that we can use to add some or all of our social media sites such as a Facebook LIKE Page and a Twitter Feeds Widget to a Blog’s Sidebar on our WordPress site.
 floating+facebook+likebox
In order to post your Social Media on your Blog you must turn on Sharing in WordPress, to do this go to:- DASHBOARD-SETTINGS-SHARING

MAILSHOTS

urlMailChimp is the most popular Widget for Mailshots

 

Another key skill we learnt this week was URL Shortening using Bitly this is especially handy for Twitter Feeds as you are only allowed use a small amount of characters for each of your feeds!  Bitly can also give you feedback on your URL’s usage.  For more information go to http://www.bitly.com

Digital Image Management

Screen Capture

This week we learnt about a fast way to create internet-friendly copies of larger resolution images by  capturing your screen as an image.

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For capturing images on your Apple Laptop or iMac there is an application called GRAB


Image Formats

THERE ARE 6 DIFFERENT TYPES OF IMAGE FORMATS:-

PSD (uncompressed / lossless)
• TIFF (un/compressed / loss(y)less)
• DNG (uncompressed / lossless)
• GIF (compressed / lossless)
• PNG (compressed / lossless)
• JPG (compressed / lossy)

Image Hosting

Image Hosting Services  allow individuals to upload images to an Internet website.

The image host will then store the image onto its server, and show the individual different types of code to allow others to view that image.
• E.g. TwitPic, Imgur, PhotoBucket etc

How To Create a Digital Media Presentation

In this weeks lecture, the main focus was on our next assignment which is creating a Prezi Presentation. Prezi is a cloud-based presentation software used for presenting ideas or information in a pretty cool and graphic way. Luckily, I have used Prezi before in other modules to make presentations and even just to store my own notes and ideas.

Here is a great video that gives you an overview of PREZI!

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As part of our Assessment we were asked to present a Digital Media Presentation – I chose to do my presentation on producing the Podcast for the 1st Assignment of this course.

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“Prezi is helping reinvent the art of presentation”

The key areas we were to include were as follows:

  • Inserting Text
  • Inserting Frames
  • Inserting Content
  • Navigating PREZI
  • Animating with PREZI
  • Customising our Theme

Weekly Task – Products to try!

As I am just completing this Blog and reading through the Powerpoint I realize my task this week is to try out the following products!

screenr_logo This is a web-based Screen Recorder that allows you to create up to 15 minute Videos

url

This is Video Editing Software created by MOZILLA who also make the FIREFOX Browser.   It allows you do the following to your Web Videos:-

  • Enhance
  • Remix
  • Share

musu_xlrg So what is MASHUP?   Well this is getting all too technical for me!!!!  My friends at WikipediA describe it as “a web page, or web application, that uses content from more than one source to create a single new service displayed in a single graphical interface”

Heres a diagram explaining it but seriously, its way over my head!  Feel free to fill me in!

 mashupspectru32

Digital Image Editing

This lecture was all about editing our digital images and includes the following tasks:-

  • Opening, Rotating, Cropping and Saving
  • ReTouching and Colour Correcting
  • ReSizing and Optimising for Websites
  • Batch Processing

There are numerous Graphic Editing Programs, one of the most widely used is Adobe PhotoShop  – Adobe have recently launched free software called Adobe Photoshop Express  which is an online version that allows you to Crop, Rotate, Tweak, Twirl and show off your photos.

Sign up for a free account to upload and save up to 2GB of digital images for free. Display your photos to friends and family in various galleries such as grids or with 3D navigation at http://download.cnet.com/Adobe-Photoshop-Express/3000-13455_4-10826051.html

photoshop-express

If you look closely at the 1st image on the top left hand corner you will see the final image has changed dramatically from colour, to composition, retouching and resizing all done with Adobe Photoshop Express

Here are a few more Digital Image Editing Packages currently on the market.

GIMP – Here is a great video to get you started! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LmW5ndnEqw

PICASA –  Picasa is a GOOGLE version of digital editing software and is also free to download!

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I used Picasa to change the Ambient Lighting in the photo below.

Amy & Ashling    Amy & Aisling Retouched Ambient Lighting

 

Producing A Podcast

Well it was a week of putting everything together and closely following all the instructions on our Podcasting Power Point! Which included the following:-

Audacity Logo

Audacity Software is the free Sound Editor we downloaded and installed, that was the easy part, there were then many options how we could use it to “fine tune” our recording.  I attempted to use it to remove Ambient Noise and also used it to reduce the Dynamic Range, I guess its something you have to play around with a lot to get the real value of it as it is really a personal choice on how you want your recording to turn out.

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Next up was PodOmatic which is website that specialises in tools and services that allows you to create and share audio and video Podcasts.  Having saved my recording as an MP3 using Audacity, I then wanted to add it to my Blog, so I created my PodOmatic Account, uploaded an image to go with my recording then uploaded my video clip to PodOmatic.

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In order to be able to share my Podcast I need to create an RSS link on my Blog that can be subscribed to by others.  See my link below:-

http://luke-martin.podomatic.com/rss2.xml

And hey presto!   Its live on iTunesimages

Photographic Task – PORTRAIT & LANDSCAPE

2014-10-10-13-49-50     2014-10-10-13-49-36

The difference between Portrait and Landscape is as follows:-

Landscape  is when an image that has a greater Width than Height – think of an image of the horizon where the sea meets the sky!

Portrait is when an image has a greater Height than Width – think of your 1st school photo!

However, some photos such as a College Graduation with a view of your University in the background and yourself in the foreground would look great as landscape image, so its all about personal choice and what you are photographing.

Audio Recordings

We started off week 4’s Lecture on how to capture and edit Audio Recordings.  This includes types of files, types of formats, different recording devices and software that can be used to produce the recordings.

file formats icons

AUDIO FORMATS

An Audio File Format is a file format used for storing digital audio data on a computer or laptop. The data within the file can be stored compressed or uncompressed to reduce it’s size.  Uncompressed files are usually bigger than compressed files and have a better quality of sound than the small, compressed files.  Compression reduces accuracy of certain parts of sound.

MP3 is the is the most commonly used audio format and is patented.

wavWAV is quite similar to AIFF and us used typically used for uncompressed videos.

aiffAIFF is an uncompressed audio file format that was co-developed by Apple Computer.

There us also OGG Vorbis and they provide free, efficient streaming and manipulation of digital multimedia at a high quality standard.

DIGITISATION

Analogue Recording Devices such as a Dictaphones or Mini Discs record to magnetic tape, whereas Digital Recording Devices store audio data as a file, the file can then be edited easily and does not have to be re-recorded like when using an analogue recording.  An analogue recording MUST be digitised before it can be used on a computer.  Examples of Digital Recording Devices include Smart Phones, MicroPhones, MP3 Recorders or Headsets connected to PCs.

AMBIENT NOISE

Ambient Noise is background noise.  Sound bounces off hard surfaces, so recording in a room with soft furnishing, wall papers and carpets will provide less ambient noise.  Too much background noise is a sign of a poor recording.

SOUND EDITORS

AUDACITY is a free, cross-platform Sound Editor, it enables you to record and edit any sounds that you may require.  Here is the link to download it to your PC or MAC http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/  It has a great feature that allows you to remove ambient noise.  It is then necessary to export the recording as an MP3 file using LAME which is high quality encoding software (it is free) and can be downloaded at http://lame.sourceforge.net/

Photographic Task – Shutter Speed

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Our photographic task this week was to demonstrate the effect of shutter speed on a moving subject.
Firstly I took a picture

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Digital Photography Camera Techniques

In this week’s lecture we learned about the following topics

  1. The history of photography
  2. The camera working
  3. How to take a better picture
  4. Camera Types, Limitations and Benefits

Firstly, we commence the lecture by chatting about the history of photography and we then went into looking at camera Obscura. This is a visual effect where an image from outside a room is projected in reverse onto the opposite wall of a darkened room. We then preceded to talk about the evolution of photography over the years and how much easier, cheaper and more accessible photography has become over the years.

We talked about camera Aperture, this is the opening or “iris” in which the light passes to the camera.

aperture-v-shutter-speed

We carried on looking through other camera workings such as Shutter Speed and “Depth of Field”. Within the camera a shutter blocks light from entering via the lens. The shutter can be released temporarily to allow light into the camera to expose the image. Slow shutter speeds will blur moving objects, only capturing still objects, while fast shutter speeds can capture a single droplet hitting the ground.

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“Depth of Field” is used to isolate certain parts of an image for attention. While the aperture opens or closes the images grows lighter or darker accordingly

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 For our lab this week, we were sent out to take a before and after picture to show our understanding of  how a change of aperture can have an affect on an image.The only camera that i have access to is the one on my iPhone which worked ok. I set up an object and  took a picture without changing the settings or allowing the camera to properly focus. For my second picture, I focused in on the bottle and saw that the quality of the main object(bottle) was much clearer when I set the camera to target the object directly.
BEFORE                                                AFTER
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