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In this week’s class we explored the different applications of digital making and 3D printing. It was great to have an opportunity to navigate online designing with Tinkercad as well. For in-class activity my group was assigned two 3D model sharing websites being shapeways.com and myminifactory.com. The following four objects are something I would use on a daily basis that could use a little tweaking.
When I do homework I always seem to misplace my pen or pencil so this life hack would save me a lot of time spent searching for it. The product is a series of clips that are meant to store writing utensils near your laptop. The designer has only tested them on his personal laptop, so I would need to possibly change the measurements so that it would fit well on my own computer. I would also want to shorten the length of the clips so they don’t hang in front of the screen.
One of my aspirations is to grow a garden so that I can have plenty of fresh vegetables and stay healthy. The Acute Nozzle would be a functional attachment for a hose with an added flair in the color and design. However, I see another use of this product on college campuses. Many students complain about the pressure in some of the dorm showers. The nozzle could be designed so that when added to the existing nozzle, it would release some of the pressure, making it more comfortable.
Cooking is one of my hobbies and although this spoon wouldn’t be able to purposefully sauté onions, it still caught my eye. I like the abstraction of the design, but I don’t think it is very practical for actual use. I wouldn’t change the handle, but I would fill the empty spaces that are in the bowl part of the spoon.
I have been meaning to get a decent set of coasters for a while now and have never found the right ones until I stumbled upon this design. The material, I’ve read, is absorbent and they’re aesthetically pleasing. The only thing I would change is to put a layer on the bottom in case any condensation doesn’t get absorbed into the coaster.
I thoroughly enjoyed this class because it was hands-on and engaging. It was my first experience with digital making/3D printing and I am excited to continue learning.
When it comes to writing for the internet, you have to always remember that lolcats.com is just a click away for your reader, so when it comes to blogging, generally the quicker you get your ideas across, the better you’ve done.
Readers of the internet like gleaming the meaning of a story from its words, so they don’t necessarily want to read every word in a sentence. You have to construct your narrative so that the important stuff sticks, which is a tricky thing to do.
You probably “skim” all the time too, right? So intuitively, my first piece of advice would be to write for yourself – write in a way that would keep you tuned-in as a reader.
Outside of that, here are some guidelines:
- Don’t be afraid of using bullets. If you have a list of things, particularly things that need to be explained, use bullets. Throw in some bold if you’re feeling extra fun. Readers like seeing a change in format. They like knowing what the key concept is, and what they can glaze over.
- Keep paragraphs short. In journalism, we drop the prefix from the word and refer to them as just “graphs,” just a fun fact I thought I’d share. The idea is that you give the reader some breathing room, and additionally, access points for when they jump ahead.
- Inverted pyramid. So along with the previous bullet, try and structure your graphs like this: 1st graph should have a hook and something that explains what your post is about. The 2nd graph should follow that up with more details. Then you get to the meat of your story, and with these graphs, try to move what you view as important up.
- Use subheads. It helps organize your story better.
- Hyperlink important things. This helps you seem more credible, and makes you a resource for your reader. It helps to add some depth to your blog.
- Have a “flow.” You know, transition from paragraph to paragraph. Don’t use “First” or anything like that, just flow from concept to concept. Try to end your sentences in a way that leads into your next sentence.
- Be concise. If you don’t, the reader will think you’re grasping for word counts.
- Share anecdotes. Just be sure you’re telling them in an interesting way, like with quotes.
- Be conversational. It’s a blog, not a report. Directly address your audience, ask rhetorical questions, etc.
- Explore different formats. We’re all familiar with the Buzzfeed list format that’s taken the internet by storm. I mean, even the Weather Channel has them now. It takes on a completely different format than your standard blog, but it works. Imagine “7 simple steps to make your very own ____.” There are other formats out there too, just look around and be creative.
- Use extra elements. WordPress allows you to not only upload media, but also to imbed using the text feature. The class itself has a limited amount of server space for our photos, so we probably could only post a couple per story, depending on size. However, we are allowed to embed. You can upload a video to Youtube and embed it onto your blog. You can also upload your photos to box and embed a whole slideshow onto your blog. You can even imbed Spotify playlists.
- Market your content. Every writer is their own best salesman. Write your story for a particular audience, and then market it to that audience. Post it to twitter and use a trending hashtag in that audience, and at least post it to your wall for your friends and family.
- Optimize your headline. Essentially, label your post something with words you think your audience would Google. So if you’re blogging about your favorite beat recipe, label it “The Best Beat Recipe.”
- Add tags. Search engines use tags to help searchers find what they’re looking for. The more specific your tags are, or the tags that you think most people would use to find a story like yours, the better your post will do. Also, always add a tag for whatever week you’re post is going in, like “week2.” You can add tags on the sidebar of your post page.