16
Jan 14

Second Semester Concepts

For my “This I Believe” Podcast, I am considering writing/speaking about the importance of quiet.  Our present society seems so enamored with distractions (made constantly available by technology) that we seldom take time to unplug; however, in an increasingly busy world we need undisturbed time for clear thought more than ever.  Similarly, I have considered discussing the necessity of focus.  Studies have shown that multitasking is essentially an impossible feat, yet we continue to try juggling an ever-larger number of tasks.

In regards to my Passion Blog, I intend to continue writing on the topic that I used last semester.  Learning about unique customs from around the world was an interesting process, and although I have tried to come up with another subject, I cannot think of any that I would be able to easily sustain for ten weeks.

There are a lot of possibilities for the Civic Issues Blog, and it will obviously depend on the category that I am assigned.  However, I am particularly interested in foreign policy and issues of diplomacy, especially as many situations abroad (Iran’s nuclear program, the pending security agreement with Afghanistan, etc.) grow increasingly delicate.  Environmental issues are also very interesting, especially domestically.  From the BP oil spill to the more recent Freedom Industries water contamination, the balance between industry and environmental safety has become a large concern for the majority of Americans.

 


03
Oct 13

Unit Two Concepts

Advertising methods are constantly changing, trying to find the most effective way to persuade consumers in the least amount of time (viewers often only focus on an ad for a matter of seconds).  Most video commercials have been shortened from half of a minute to just fifteen seconds, and traditional ads (such as billboards and posters) have more competition and less interest, forcing advertisers to convey their messages concisely and effectively.

One of the most unique approaches in adapting to a decreased attention span was a series of one-second advertisements run during the 2009 Superbowl.  These short clips, ads for Miller High Life beer, were meant to catch viewers’ attention and show them the Miller brand in as little time as possible.  The ads were, by necessity, extremely simple.  They featured a Miller employee in front of cases of beer (with the Miller logo prominently displayed) who shouted a quick phrase before the ad ended, such as “Beer’s here!” or “High Life.”  The campaign allowed the company to save on airtime while still effectively marketing its product.

[http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/commercials/2009/2/miller-one-second-ad.jpg]

Recently, shock advertising has also increased in popularity.  Hoping to grab attention and generate interest, shock ads often push boundaries and frequently cross the line.  Some of the most effective campaigns utilizing this tactic have been run by Amnesty International, a group seeking to protect human rights across the globe.  They use startling images, apparent contradictions, and irony to convey powerful messages about issues regarding violence and injustice.  Likely the most persuasive of these campaigns for viewers was a series emphasizing ignorance as the greatest obstacle to change.  They feature an act of cruelty in the midst of a large crowd, every member of which has literally turned his or her back on the victim.  It is a striking representation of the power that lies with those in the crowd, and a very convincing argument that viewers must act.

[http://www.trendhunter.com/slideshow/amnesty-international-campaigns]


05
Sep 13

Passion Blog Concepts

Blogs serve a variety of purposes; however, one of the most common and widely utilized is to inform readers.  I have benefited from informative blogs in the past, and hope to bring something useful to those who encounter my blog as well.

As I studied the Spanish language throughout high school, I often used blogs written by both native and non-native speakers to enhance my own learning.  I found a large amount of information that aided my education in the technical aspects of the language, allowing me to review tenses and irregular verbs.  However, blogs offered cultural and historical information as well, putting the language that I was learning into context.  Each writer had a distinct perspective that offered unique insights, allowing me to gain a global view of the Spanish language and its use.  In my own blog, I would seek to offer practical information and advice to those learning the language while sharing the history and culture that enriched my experience.

Alternately, I could also write an informative blog on an ongoing issue.  While I have been following the Syrian revolution, I have noticed that it is often difficult to be up-to-date on all of the events transpiring.  A blog offering summaries of recent events and their global impact on politics and economics would allow readers to remain informed on the situation and its broader implications without needing to reference multiple news sources.  In addition to removing unnecessary information, I would try to avoid sensationalism and bias in my writing, eliminating the confusion that often arises when being informed by multiple sources with conflicting views or interests.


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