Inquiry Project Proposal Draft #2: Thoughts on Design

I spend a lot of time on the internet doing a lot of reading. A lot. I may not be a professional, but I’ve stared at enough internet posts to know good formatting from bad.

If there’s a sliding scale of internet content formatting, Buzzfeed “articles” are the bottom of the heap. As Buzzfeed Articles Without the GIFs has taught us, the typical Facebook-share-bait Buzzfeed article reads like a third-grade writing assignment. It relies entirely on the pictures and contains very little in the way of content, depending entirely on being relatable or just vaguely nostalgic and thus earning more clicks and ad space.

On the other hand,  it’s hard to decide exactly what makes good internet formatting, largely because the formatting depends a lot on content. To prove that the problem isn’t list-based or entertainment articles, I point to Cracked.com. (Site contains adult language. Cleverly utilized adult language.) Cracked still uses extra media to make points and punchlines with embedded pictures and videos and frequently links to sources and related articles, but still demands a high caliber of writing. This author, John Cheese, has a particularly interesting style. I’m a sucker for clever similes, unusual and illustrative word choices, and sophisticated but readable vocabulary. On the more journalistic end, the Al-Jazeera America website has a lot of great examples of formatting. Like Cracked, it uses extra media as seasonings, rather than as the main course.

Applying these ideas to my final project, I think I’d like to split the difference between the two. I’d like something as informative as Al-Jazeera, as entertaining as Cracked, and in my own voice. I don’t know how many videos and pictures I can use, given my topic, but I’ve managed it thus far in my other posts. I’m sure I’ll find a way!

6 thoughts on “Inquiry Project Proposal Draft #2: Thoughts on Design”

  1. I read part of the Al-Jazeera article reporting on killings/trans community. It reads like a news article, moreso than a researched text. What do you like about the formatting of this piece?

    I can see you liking the voice in the Cracked site — irony, satire, calling people out (just ask someone who plays computer games Mr. TV dude — or something like that). I like that the article calls out the lack of technology knowledge writers of television have (2 people sharing a keyboard video — hilarious!)

    My question for you Morgan: How can you keep your edgy voice in this project, but also project a smart, academic-y demeanor?

  2. I am still trying to figure out the appeal of the list format thing that Buzzfeed and other similar sights employ. I would be interested in the psychology behind why that appeals to so many people! (assuming that it does, because they seem to be so popular, but don’t assume anything of course).

  3. I like how you’re trying to keep things different and interesting while still keeping your own voice in the subject. I feel like this is toughest thing to do on any assignment! The format of the project is pretty informal so I feel like using any number of formats will work on this project. I totally feel you on buzzfeed. I usually click on them to actually get something out of them, usually something that was my first mistake haha.

  4. I think your idea behind this is smart but i do see a challenge in balancing the edgyness to a more professional/formal writing that every professor likes still. I definitely think you will be able to figure it out, given your topic, i understand your concern with pictures and things and actually, i would not put pictures in my writing if my topic did not happen to be INSTAGRAM but i will try to find a nice way to incorporate all of that hopefully…..anyways, good luck! you’ll do great!

  5. I feel all of those ideas will work with your topic of fanfiction. I agree where you mention the fact that it does depend on content. But pictures are important too! I think it would be a good idea to focus on extra media because in fanfiction you can read all the styles of writing but for it to be expressed in other types of media would be interesting!

    I hope to see how your topic develops and how your paper ends up! Keep up the good work!

  6. I like that you have such an intensive knowledge of internet-based writing styles. That will most definitely help your project! The many different examples you provide in this post has also given me some good inspiration for my project as well, as I have just begun to consider the design/layout and how I can use it to maximum advantage. Fan fiction will be a cool topic to read, I look forward to your project!

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