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So, you might have noticed that this is my third blog tonight…this isn’t because we have class tomorrow and I am trying to fill the  “suggestion” of three blogs per week, but rather, I have these ideas stored in my head, but don’t have the time to blog them as they come to me.  Instead, I write them down (in the margins of my notebook, on the notepad on my iPhone, or in my planner) and then sit down to write them once I have time to do so.

Anyway, just thought I would let you (whoever you are) know that there is a method to my madness.

Advertising for Apps?

I mentioned this point in class the other day, but I’m really wondering if there is any way to start advertising iPhone apps.  My family (yes, even my parents have iPhones) and friends often share their discoveries with me, and sometimes I search for the most popular apps on my phone, but I feel like there are millions that I don’t know about and would like.  I know that Apple is doing commercials that feature some apps, but I feel like there must be another way.

Any ideas?


Last year I took a J-Term course called “Ethnographic Writing.”  While we did quite a bit of in class writing, our instructor asked us not to bring computers, and instead to write in a notebook.  She felt that students produced more thoughtful work that way, and were more in tuned with the writing process and less distracted.

The other day, I sent out a few thank you emails to people who had interviewed me for jobs last week.  I edited them carefully, even sent a couple to my dad to look over, and he sent them back to me with revisions and feedback.  I typed them on the train, on my iPhone, sent them to my dad, who looked at them on his laptop, and sent the final copies out on my own laptop.  I found myself highlighting parts of sentences to delete them, copying and pasting text–all of the normal things we now do in order to edit our typed text.  I sorted through my “sent mail” folder after sending them out, only to find TYPO’S!!!  What better way to come off as an idiotic ditz??!  I wrote to an HR guy:  “The visit confirmed that [company name] peopleare really bright and work hard  in a fast-paced, creative, and dynamic setting.”  Yikes.  Second, “I really appreciate your support, and am will continue hoping for the best in the upcoming weeks.”  Come ON.

These errors lead me to believe that my J-Term teacher from last year was right.  The ways we (or maybe I should just say “I”) edit and write text on screens allows for these kinds of mistakes.  Moving around text, deleting clauses, etc–all leaves oportunities to forget to “cut” the now unnecessary pronoun with the rest of the text, or to paste a clause into the wrong part of a sentence.  Not to mention, I type much faster than I write, so my brain is often a word or two ahead of my fingers, and that word or two never makes it into the email.

Maybe I’m just making excuses, but I do believe that my most thoughtful writing is often done hand.  I mean…BY hadn…oops…by HAND.

While trying to keep my “tweet” under the character limit, I’m having all sorts of “revelations” about the way in which my communication techniques (ie word choices, sentence structure, etc) is affected by the medium I am using to communicate: twitter v. phone v. ichat v. text v. email v. email on iphone, etc etc etc….

So this is what Professor Mittell means that using the technology helps us understand it.

Not just looking for brownie points (though they would be nice)–I mean it.


I am fascinated by apps.  My newest one:  the Dragon app–it lets you dictate your texts and emails to your iPhone.  Here are the feelings I experienced while dictating my first message to my iPhone: awkward, frustrated, amazed and embarrassed.  Why?  Because in order for the app to understand me, I had to annunciate my words more than I naturally would.  This affected my message…how can I joke around while also hoping that the Dragon will hear me?  The Dragon became my audience…yet he/she/it is but a stranger to me…and I didn’t quite feel comfortable talking to it.  This leads me to wonder how the mediums we use to communicate affect what we communicate and how.  Do I write differently when typing versus using a pen?  I’ve heard English professors argue that yes, that is the case.  Do I speak differently to a friend on video chat versus in person or on the phone?  How do these changes in turn change US, our relationships, or grades, our effectiveness….

Charge Me

After reading a few articles about the future of journalism, I’m really wondering why the struggles of this industry have ignited such a drawn-out debate.  What incentive does one have to BUY their news when they can access it for free, in real-time, online?? START CHARGING ME! Yes, I will, as people have for years and years and forever in the past, pay for my news!  So will my friends and anyone else who cares about being an informed citizen.  The internet is the new news-stand–so charge me while I’m there.  Please.

This morning, I was driving through the town of Middlebury, and a guy in a passing car yelled at me to get off my phone…while I was stopped at a stop sign.  I mean, I could understand if he was frustrated at me for cutting him off while I was on my phone, but I didn’t, so why does he care?  Or, I would understand if we were in New York and I was engaging in illegal activity.  Also not the case.
How did cell phones get such a bad rep?  More likely than not, I am using my iPhone to speak to a friend from home or to my parents, and since when did keeping in touch become such a bad thing?  My phone has helped me find my way through cities with its maps application, find new music on Pandora and Shazam, keep up with breaking news from my TweetDeck, check my bank account balance, buy movie tickets, and find museum exhibits and new restaurants.  I have access to more news in the palm of my hand than most newsrooms did ten years ago.  My phone keeps me connected to and aware of the world outside Middlebury…thank God!  I’m not ashamed to admit that I am quite attached to my phone, and not because it is a piece of frivolous technology, but because I, unlike the angry Vermonter I encountered this morning, am connected to important people and information all day long.

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