my funny valentine

I got these bits of spam on Valentine’s day. Mr MacKeeper (or whatever the character is called) seems to be dreaming of a human woman, as well as keeping my Mac safe and operating at its full capacity. The marketing strategy here is apparently ‘holiday + girl + brand name = money’. And just in case you don’t know what Valentine’s day is, they’ve lifted some helpful (if slightly misinformed and Ameri-centric) info about its origins from what we must assume to be a rather dodgy internet source.

It’s the sort of ‘digital artefact run amok’ quality that I find particularly interesting–a logo here, a character there, some clip art, a bit of text, an address in Sunnyvale, trying to make it personal (Candace.nolan), invoking phrases like ‘friends and loved ones’.

I suppose spotting all this stuff–the elements that don’t quite add up–is a kind of digital literacy in itself. (Although…guess what I installed on my MacBook a few months ago…)

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The F pattern

Is the F pattern shortchanging the author, or is this a literacy that has emerged as a result of the medium?


IoE website, 2013

IoE homepage

Is navigating this website really so different from navigating a text brochure? A novel or math book is meant to be experienced in a linear way, but I would argue that someone looking to turn some information into knowledge for their personal use would interact with informational printed text in much the same way as they would do with a website…especially a website that is largely text-based anyway. Moreover, while tabs and ‘breadcrumbs’ make the experience feel less linear than a printed booklet does, they are actually represented in a linear way.

IoE webpage tabs and breadcrumbs

If I was a student looking for information, I wouldn’t necessarily garner any meaning from the images–while this may be happening on a subconcious level, it is then more of a marketing tactic than another way of presenting information or content.

decline of text?

Kress may be correct in saying that changes in both the medium and mode of writing are ongoing. But the platform I’m typing into at the moment is evidence that writing itself isn’t as tied to the book as Kress suggests.

As for text, the internet is still largely structured by it as far as discreet parcels of information are concerned. If I want to find an image, video or sound clip, I still have to type in my text, and my success is based on the words that I choose to enter…

The distinct cultural technologies for representation and for dissemination have become conflated—and not only in popular commonsense, so that the decline of the book has been seen as the decline of writing and vice versa.
G. Kress (2005)
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