Understanding Visual Rhetoric in Digital Writing Environments

In her essay “Understanding Visual Rhetoric in Digital Writing Environments”, Mary E. Hocks discusses how digital environments are designed with features like “audience stance, transparency, and hybridity” (629). The ” visual and interactive nature of native hypertext and multimedia writing” (629) makes it difficult for scholars to distinguish words from visuals, as Hocks suggests “Interactive digital texts can blend words and visuals  talk and text, and authors and audiences in ways that are recognizably postmodern (630). She references ” Gary Heba’s delineation of how html authoring mirrors rhetorical processes for composition” (630) and ” Patricia Sullivan’s arguments that expand our definitions of electronic writing to include graphics, screen design, and other media form” (630). The work of early professionals in “technical communication” that “demonstrated how rhetorical decisions impact the visual design of an online document or system” (630) alerted scholars  to think about the visual aspect of writing. Anne Wysocki stated that “computer-based interactive media can now blend text and images so thoroughly that they are indistinguishable on the screen (2010)” (630). These arguments have convinced teachers to redefine what we consider to be  writing. Hocks introduces the idea of interpreting new media as “hybrid forms” . As students we “look at artifacts such as online games or Web sites” (630) and we make  “assumptions about gender, age, nationality, or other identity categories” (630). Hocks states that all writing is hybrid that “it is at once verbal, spatial, and visual.” (631).  As interactive digital media has become a part of college writing courses, writing is now  “internetworked writing”-writing that involves the intertwining of production, interaction, and publication in the online classroom or professional workplace...

Digital Environment Description: Atlanta’s Official Website

click this image On April 17th, I began observing Atlanta’s official website. I began studying the site at 10 pm and ended my observation at 11 pm. When observing this site the first thing that caught my eye was the background of the homepage. The homepage offers a night view of downtown Atlanta. The title of the homepage reads “City of Atlanta”. The first two words are in white while the word “Atlanta” is in silver. This seems to bring some type of attraction to the homepage. The color of the texts are blue and they are easy to read on a white background of the different pages. Included on the homepage is the different tabs that informs people of business, tourists, or people who may move to Atlanta, about the city.  Some of the tabs read ” Government” , “Visitors”, and “Doing Business”. Below the tabs are slideshows of community news with a small area with a message from the mayor. There is also a slide a slide of links that lead to information about the “Atlanta PD (police department” , “City council”, etc. At the bottom of the home page there is a calendar for press releases and meetings/upcoming events. After observing the homepage, I began to navigate through the tab. The navigation for this site was easy. The tabs include sections and in these sections are links to information about the tab. For example, under the “Residents” tab regarding the household section there are links that give the researcher more information about the particular section. This website constantly displays this method rather than the page on...

Digital Environment Description: Noisey Atlanta Episode 1

Opening Scene of Noisey Atlanta Video When Noisey Atlanta Episode 1 is typed into the YouTube search bar, a gray screen with a frowning box prompts the viewer to “sign into your account to confirm age- some of the content in this video may be inappropriate for children under 18.” When I sign into my account confirming me to be age 18 or over, YouTube automatically redirects me to the Noisey Atlanta-Welcome to the Trap- Episode 1 page. All along the right hand side of the page, the following episodes in the Noisey Atlanta Series are displayed for choosing, along with some other Noisey series and other videos from similar modern publications such as Vice.com. After some buffering, the video plays and the mise-en-scène (a French term that means “placing on stage, in film meaning the arrangement of everything that appears in the framing – actors, lighting, décor, props, costume) is instantly set. Nosey journalist Thomas Morton stands superimposed in front of a highway connector with Downtown Atlanta slightly out of focus in the background. The video cuts away to an birds eye view of “Spaghetti Junction” ,the series of interconnected and overlapping interstates and highways Atlanta is known for, with a heavy trap beat playing in the background. Thomas Morton is shown walking into a house with yellow tinged plaster on the outside and iron bars covering the doors and the windows. A black man decorated with chains and a black baseball cap on his head is stirring a pot on an electric gas stove. White lettering in the bottom left hand corner of the video gives a name...

The Real Downtown Atlanta- Objectively

Logo for CAP The Real Downtown Atlanta is a video posted to Youtube by an Atlanta based nonprofit organization called Central Atlanta Progress and a public-private partnership  called The Atlanta Downtown Improvement District. CAP, founded in 1941, and ADID, founded in 1995, work to provide services that help maintain and stimulate the Downtown Atlanta area- namely through economic means with the help of investment by businesses in the area. The Real Downtown Atlanta shows a bit of the area CAP oversees and the real people you may find in Atlanta. The video begins with a shot of morning light slightly hidden behind a few of Atlanta’s buildings and quickly cuts away to a speedy Marta train against the backdrop of some of the taller buildings found in the city. The next shot brings us to a woman leaving the Marta station and making her way to a coffee shop. Once reaching the coffee shop, the camera begins to follow a man that had just paid for his coffee. By now the viewer may notice that the camera cuts from mostly medium long, eye level shots that don’t pan. This creates an awareness of the space around the person being followed in each shot. Those surroundings being various distinguishable places around Downtown Atlanta. These shots not only draw awareness to the surroundings, but makes them stand out as they are extremely still shots juxtaposed by only the movements of mostly one person. Most of the shots are sure to subtly show the names  of major businesses around the area when passing by or through them. This would be in relation to...
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