Print “and screen-based technologies make available different modes and semiotic resources in ways that shape processes of making meaning” (Jewitt 315). Regardless of the medium, the essence of the information must be exact. If I say that a printed report about trees was excellent, and then observe that the web version of the report is about clouds, there is a significant problem concerning communication. Using technology creates a “new kind of writing space, and this space changes not only writing processes, but also communication dynamics between writers and readers” (Digirhet.org 234).
Writing “is no longer a purely text-driven practice… Digital writers rely on words, motion, interactivity, and visuals to make meaning” (Digirhet.org 240). The informality of the web does not appeal to our senses as heavily as print. But the financial burdens of print are forcing more and more companies, big or small, to go digital. Marla Misek, former Associate Editor for EMedia, states: “The proliferation of the Internet as a primary information and entertainment resource, combined with rising paper and distribution costs, have forced many publications out of business and countless others to rethink their purview and to refine their production in order to stay financially viable.” (Misek 52)
Essentially, Web 2.0 employs social networking which allows for feedback. Such feedback can be both asynchronous and synchronous.
If your print version matches your web version, there’s probably a problem? Why use the web at all?
After analyzing sidebar placement and noting the content, I focused on the meanings of certain passages and if they had changed as a result of the transference. To a degree, content had not changed, but reorganized webpages were difficult to align with their print versions. Where the print version may cover two printed pages, online, everything was organized in one long page.
Notice the sidebars surrounding the text are distracting the reader. It appears to be a graphic novel without the graphics. Ross Miller, Dir. Of Programs for AAC&U said that an attempt was made to integrate and use the sidebars for the web version of the GE report, but its full transfer was impossible.
As the reader delves deeper into the online report, it is apparent, to some degree, what is online is what is in print. But the styles and ways in which the information is displayed are totally different. You can see the print version of a table dealing with “Organizing Educational Principles” next to the online version which is constricted by frames. The chart is squeezed into the small space, leaving the reader to scroll down to follow the recognition pattern of the chart. Such visual aids are designed to help readers understand various concepts, not confuse them further.
The main paragraphs of information are exactly the same except for the use of sidebars in the web version. The inclusion of these sidebars at this point in the web version significantly influences how the audience perceives the information on display. These sidebars are not unveiled until the next page in the print version as they are used to supplement the deconstruction of high school requirements. The title of the chapter is “Barriers to Quality from School to College,” but there is no mention of high school or its requirements in the print version. So why incorporate the sidebars with this information now? It is confusing and distracting.
Briefing papers – bibliography – are only found online.
Different audiences and different mediums. But those who don’t like to go online will never get the briefing papers.
Suzanne Hyers, Senior Director of Marketing for AAC&U, feels that the creation of the website was “a way of transferring the most important information through the easiest way” (Hyers). However, Noreen O’Connor, the Associate Director of Web Communications states that “the Greater Expectations website is an interactive version of the ‘Greater Expectations’ report that AAC&U released in 2002” (O’Connor). Ross Miller, Director of Programs, says that no research was done in how to market or how to transfer it to the web (Miller). With so much at stake, why would the AAC&U not do the research to find out what its target audience preferred: web or print? If it is because of academic bureaucracy, then the ideals they promote in their report run counter to the way they operate their organization. When I asked Ross Miller if AAC&U had any plans of updating the print report or issuing a new edition, he said that they did in fact have a second phase of the plan in the works, but that financing fell through (Miller). “We’ve moved on to other things,” he said (Miller). The web version allows for a larger audience to see the report, for more storage of information via updates, and its ability to be accessed at anytime anywhere in the world. However, its poor design and digital style remove and distort many of the report’s original information. When I asked Ross Miller if he felt the web version accurately represented the printed version, he said: “Yes. It’s all there. Is it the same experience as the book? No. Most campus folks like to have the print version in their hand” (Miller). Dr. Paul Ranieri, an English Professor at Ball State University and one of AAC&U’s biggest supporters, agrees with Miller’s assumptions. When it comes to preference and reference, Ranieri goes to the book (Ranieri). His reasoning for this is because the computer screen is too fast. He believes that “print speed matches thought speed” (Ranieri). The point of “Greater Expectations” is to educate people on the importance and balance of Liberal Education. Perhaps the AAC&U should take its own advice and seek a better balance between the two media so as not to confuse its audience.
Greater Expectations: The Layered Meanings of Print and Web Style
Greater Expectations: The Layered Meanings of Print and Web Style Casey McArdle Ball State University Indiana College English Association Conference October 23, 2009
In early 2002, the Association of American Colleges and Universities released the report “Greater Expectations.” The 60 page report addressed their vision for higher education as the number of students attending college increases. In late 2002, the AAC&U created a website to act as a digital representation of the original report. This website has been updated numerous times, the most recently in May of 2007 – while the print version has not been updated since its original publication date.
Communication … the generic process of translating information from one domain to one or more domains through a medium. A domain can be the mental world of a person, the computational domain of a computer, the economic domain of a market, and so on. Each medium (voice, images, etc) to some degree structures the information as it is translated. (Reality Prime)
Jakob Nielsen, a PhD. in human-computer interaction from the Technical University of Denmark in Copenhagen: print style “is based on letting the eyes walk over the information, selectively looking at information objects and using spatial juxtaposition to make page elements enhance and explain each other.” (Nielsen) Print Style: sense of materiality use of senses for interaction
Ida Engholm, an Associate Professor at the Center for Design and Research in Denmark, elaborates on the development of web style : “As technology became more advanced, and website producers gained better control over what appeared in the users’ browsers, the design no longer was a reflection of or an adjustment to technology, but was able to move onto a higher level and concentrate on more abstract requirements such as user-friendliness and appropriate communication.” (198) Web Style : utilize the medium functional and rhetorical
Tim O’Reilly & Web 2.0 (2005) Web 1.0 Web 2.0 DoubleClick Google AdSense Ofoto Flickr Akamai BitTorrent mp3.com Napster Britannica Online Wikipedia personal websites blogging evite upcoming.org and EVDB domain name speculation search engine optimization page views cost per click screen scraping web services publishing participation content management systems wikis directories (taxonomy) tagging (“folksonomy”) stickiness syndication
Web 2.0 “ The central principle behind the success of the giants born in the Web 1.0 era who have survived to lead the Web 2.0 era appears to be this, that they have embraced the power of the web to harness collective intelligence” (O’Reilly). The development and creation of websites that utilize the nature of the web as a means to communicate via online constructs set in place and/or created by the designer to utilize such constructs. Essentially : for the web by the web.
Methodology : page by page analysis made notes critical to the points trying to be made by GE went through each web link recorded which sidebars were used and where was each main point properly transferred?
<ul><li>Results : </li></ul><ul><li>both styles are poorly used </li></ul><ul><li>Improvement : </li></ul><ul><li>utilize the medium better </li></ul><ul><li>make sure web and print accurately represent one another </li></ul><ul><li>Future Research : </li></ul><ul><li>compare and contrast web pages that offer two versions of itself; one in java or Flash, the other in html </li></ul><ul><li>develop a ranking system for translation to determine accuracy of media transferred into the digital realm </li></ul>
Works Cited AAC&U. “Greater Expectations.” Washington, DC: (2007). Digirhet.org. “Teaching Digital Rhetoric: Community, Critical Engagement, and Application.” Pedagogy 6 (2006): 231-259. Engholm, Ida. “Digital style history: the development of graphic design on the Internet.” Digital Creativity. Vol. 13, No. 4 (2002): 193-211. Hyers, Suzanne. AAC&U Director, Annual Meeting and Marketing. Personal Interview. 30 May 2007. Jewitt, Carey. “Multimodality, ‘Reading’, and Writing for the 21 st Century.” Discourse . Vol. 26, No. 3 September (2005): 315-331. Miller, Ross. AAC&U Director of Programs. Personal Interview. 1 June 2007. Misek, Marla. “Enhancing the Way Publisher’s Publish and Readers Read.” EContent . November (2002): 52-53. Nielson, Jakob. “Differences Between Print Design and Web Design.” 24 Jan 1999. <http://www.useit.com/alertbox/990124.html>. ---, “Jakob Nielson Biography.” 11 June 2007. <http://www.useit.com/jakob/>. O’Connor, Noreen. AAC&U Associate Director of Web Communications. Personal Interview. 29 May 2007. O’Reilly, Tim. What is Web 2.0: Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software . 2005 O’Reilly Network. 10 June 2009. <http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html>. Ranieri, Paul, PhD. Ball State Professor of English. Personal Interview. 1 June 2007. Reality Prime. “Glossary of Virtual Worlds.” 2003. 23 May 2007. < http://www.realityprime.com/gloss.php >