#7 – Commonplaces and Topoi


Today I had to do readings for this English class, just like every other time I have posted a blog. However, this “reading” was unlike anything I have ever experienced before.  Instead of a book or a webpage with several pages and text in lines and paragraphs, this reading was more of a “create-your-own reading”. Ball and Moeller’s Reinventing the Possibilities allowed me, the reader; to click links throughout each mini-reading and it would transport me to another mini-reading explaining a different topic. If this seems hard to follow, you are right. While this type of method was different and refreshing from the normal, average readings that we all do, overall I did not enjoy this or get as much out of it as I would from the other types of readings.

As I read, I would suddenly become interrupted by a link telling me to click somewhere else. At first, I tried clicking on a link whenever I came across one, but then I soon realized that I would never get to finish what I was originally reading. So, then I tried to finish the paragraph I started, go back and click on the link, and then read something else. However, this did not seem to work very well either because I was still thinking about what the link would take me to or I was not able to focus anymore on what I was currently reading. I am a very orderly and sequential person, so this layout did not work for me at all. I feel like I did not get much out of the readings and I did not grasp the different points the authors were trying to make. My attention was more on navigating the page than any of the words or concepts.

Nonetheless, I did somewhat understand the meaning of topoi that was being explained, and I then watch Hugh Burns’ video, Resolution in 60 Seconds. I thought that this video was okay, it got me to pay attention at first and I wondered what it was going to be about, but as the video went on, I quickly lost interest and concluded that there was not a huge point to the clip. It was trying to show that today’s younger generation is the world’s future and writing and literature are going to happen in new ways.  Going back and forth between text, video clips, and so on makes the topoi (form and material) interesting in this video and the message is truly an interesting one. However, the actual method in how it was transcribed was somewhat dull and unenticing.

This is all my opinion though. For those of you who like things out-of-the-norm and like looking at different ideas in a new, non-lateral way, you might enjoy both of these sources. It is time for me to listen to you now. Do you think that it is better to have a fresh and creative way of presenting ideas, even if the points you are trying to make are not expressed as clearly as they would be in a traditional presentation? Was I the only one who did not enjoy this form of literacy – clicking your way through the information? Did you all like it and find it easier than I did? Feel free to answer all of these questions in comments below, but I’m also going to take a quick poll as well!


3 responses »

  1. Hey Becca,

    I really liked your blog post. It summarized really well what the point of the activity for this week was.
    Also I completely agree with what you said. Just like you, I had a hard time focusing and whenever I came across a hyperlink with a word I didn’t know I was distracted into clicking it. Once I clicked it I would either forget what I was reading about before because of the new page of material I had to read then~
    Also to answer your question, I think its great to have new creative ways to express ideas. However, there should be some form of organization. I thought the website was really unorganized, and I had a hardtime absorbing much of the material!

    -Charlie Park

  2. I also was not a huge fan of the nonlinearity of the webtext, but I think its presentation was good for people who do not like/find it difficult to focus on long articles because they can keep moving to new things to keep their interest and attention. And, the presentation of the webtext could still be linear if you chose it to be so although the extra links can be distracting, they tailor to the needs of a wider audience. So, I think that even though the points of the webtext may not have been expressed as clearly to me and you, they would be expressed more clearly to other people.

  3. Hi Becca! I thought it was great how you stated your truthful opinion about the reading and video. I like how you didn’t agree with the norm! For me, I thought it was interesting with all the different techniques of communicating ideas through video and graphics, and I thought it was easier for me to understand and focus on than just plain text. But then again, we all have different opinions and I like your two pictures on this post! 😉

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