Thursday, October 22, 2009

GROUP 5 - Final Assignment

The rest of Group 5's Final Assignment. Submitted by: Tara Baxa


This can be a tricky, or even sneaky topic to discuss and study in the media. Especially with the medium of T.V. Pictures, videos, and words can all work together to create an illusion of what the person is trying to say, but it isn't clearly stated. A speaker who is gifted or learned in rhetoric can be very good at saying one thing, but not really answering the given question. An example of this would be someone giving a "political answer" on a given topic.
With the green movement and the push.

This discussion was not a pleasant one to do! The people were fine in the group, it just was a difficult task to complete exclusively online. I think people take the online classes as a way of convience, but actually working together on a project proved to be challenging. I do not mind an online class, but working as a group is harder than I thought it would be. It is also difficult to get everyone's clear and precise ideas, since we are only communicating through written words. There is no face to face interaction, so "reading" the other person's facial expressions and body language is obsolete. This is difficult to do as the only way to interact.
Using the internet was not a difficulty in itself. Getting everyone gathered together to come to a clear understanding of one another was. It was difficult to work with the others, and I was difficult for the others to work with me! It is a hard way to have a working relationship with someone when we are under deadlines. But it was nonetheless an interesting way to learn how to make things come together and be ready by deadline.
A few of us tried to get together once so that we could meet face to face and get a better understanding of where the others were coming from, but this failed due to scheduling conflicts. Again, we all took this class due to the convience of not having to go to school and meet on a regular basis. It would have been helpful to get together, but it did not work out, and we made it work anyways. Next time I would push harder to get everyone to meet at least once, so that we could at least be familiar with how the others think and work, and what works best for each individual.


Question #6 and #7
6. When examining the rhetorical situation of any topic, we are examining the cultural context and standpoint of both the producer and the reader. When looking at the topic of the green movement, producers use blogging and internet news coverage as a way to receive feedback from readers and the audience that they would not otherwise have with another medium. The audience is not necessarily a particular reference group or do they have a particular demographic for this topic but, they must have a particular level of interest in the green movement. The cultural context in which the audience is reading the messages about the green movement depends a lot on their particular level of interest in the green movement as a whole because if the message is trying to be conveyed to a group of people that are preoccupied with other messages around them, the green movement will not even be on their radar and the message or text then becomes lost. The green movement can be viewed by the media and its audience as being a young and savvy movement meant for only young adults and the message may be lost to many people because of it.
7. First, I am overall not fond of group projects but, I do have to say that I really did not like this one. It was not the group members because they all seemed to do their part in trying to get organized as well as get the work done. Nevertheless, it is very hard to communicate with others to get projects like this done and it is definitely difficult to get it done via email and the internet. I will also say that I take a lot of my classes online because I do not like group projects and waiting on messages or phone calls to get my work done. A lot of times people have a lot of other things going on that it is difficult to try to work with others. But, this project was overall alright but it was a little tricky to get done.


The discourse conventions specific to the internet shape how people see the topic of the “Green Movement” in many different ways. Graphic and digital elements play a large role in the online encouragement to lead people to an eco-friendly lifestyle. By combining different types of media it gives the audience a better understanding of the news topic at hand. The dissemination pattern that the internet uses is incredible. The amount of time it takes information to be conveyed through the internet and then distributed to the public is practically instantaneous.
Digital media includes the combination of different media such as print, photography, graphics, video, and audio. By using all of these media it gives the audience a very firm grasp on what the issue is trying to portray. On many websites about the “Green Movement” there are numerous moving animations and photographs in which the reader can click on that leads them to another topic about the issue. By clicking on different links within the websites it guides you through several sub-topics of the actual news topic. The online medium is definitely the best way to learn about the “Green Movement” because anything you could ever want to know is provided for you on the internet through several websites. Websites not only offers links about more information but also includes links to other sources or related topics. The information you need is literally at your fingertips. According to Silverblatt, “detailed information can best be conveyed through use of print. Graphics can help illustrate or clarify complex statistical information. And photographs and video can provide a record of events.” Luckily, the internet allows all of these media types to combine into one forum--the internet. Graphics give the audience members ideas about how to “go green”, as well as videos to show people how to start their own compost pile. People get a much better understanding of the “Green Movement” topic by using the discourse conventions specific to the internet. Eco-friendly people are the main target within the discourse community, as well as people who are looking to become eco-friendly which is sometimes refereed to a manifest and latent audience. There is one main audience being targeted (eco-friendly people) and then the secondary target audience (people who want to take part in the green movement). Media programming can target two groups at once, which is a very effective way to grow knowledge about a certain issue.

Being in an online class was definitely a new experience for me. When I signed up for the class I never realized I would be working on a group project with classmates. When the assignment was given out I did not think it would be very hard, but once we started I realized it caused nothing but stress. The internet is a very useful medium for communication and offers endless amounts of information but it is very difficult to communicate with other people to put together an assignment. People communicate online through things such as blogs, and instant messenger which works out effectively but for some reason working through the D2l discussion board was very hard. It was nearly impossible to correspond with each other at the same time. There was usually a few hours or even days between responses. In this day and age, we are used to instant results so I think this is why everyone found it so frustrating. It is kind of hard to think of any advantages of working online, besides reading peoples work and learning from their thoughts on the topic. At first, it was very unorganized with the first due date, so we realized that would not work for next time, so certain people took the initiative to be the group leaders and distributed certain work to people. Once this was done it seemed to go more smoothly. There was not much difficulty in choosing the topic, we all seemed to agree on the “Green Movement”. The internet conventions I used to communicate effectively were to be sure everyone understood each other completely, and that we all used the same language. Luckily, we all are in the same discourse community and can understand a lot of what we are trying to convey. I would change the way I used the internet during this assignment by making sure everyone was online at the same time incase someone had questions. It would be easier if someone had a question there would always be someone else on the discussion at the same time to get feedback. As impatient as I am, it was very hard to wait for people to respond.


Discourse conventions specific to the Internet shape the way an audience views a topic in a variety of ways. The green movement has a vast amount of websites on the Internet, and this topic also has its on discourse community. The discourse community relating to this topic is anyone, lawyers, teachers, plumbers, etc., who cares about the environment and wants to take that next step towards going ‘green.’ The ways in which discourse communities reach out to citizens can vary; however, it is becoming quite apparent that the Internet is the main highway for information these days, and contains an unlimited amount of information. An example of a way that discourse conventions could lure a reader in is the title or lead of an article. By having a strong and interesting lead about the green movement, people within that discourse community or anyone else interested would most likely take the time to enlighten themselves. Although a strong lead is very beneficial, the main discourse convention that truly ties everything together on the Internet is the graphic and digital elements.

From animations to pictures, pop ups to advertisements, it is clear that the green movement is nothing to turn your head at. While sometimes, pictures or animations can annoy or even weaken the material by being distracting or obnoxious, every graphic element seen on the green movement’s websites help readers further understand the seriousness of this topic. There are numerous commercials out there advertising the next hybrid car or how to recycle, although, those messages/advertisements are straight forward. People, myself included, don’t necessarily know how to go green or save energy, and with the information from the websites along with the pictures and animations, it becomes a lot clearer. For example, the film An Inconvenient Truth has its own official website and it automatically shows a slideshow of our world and how it seems to be coming closer to global warming. The slideshow is touching, showing pictures of Hurricane Katrina and other environmental problems our world has dealt with. What I found to be interesting, though, is that the slideshow plays first, there is no information seen on the page until someone clicks it. The digital elements of this website are very advantageous because it gives readers a visual in their head before they read up on global warming and the Academy Award winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. Without digital or graphic elements, some readers would be uninterested, some would be confused as to what a compact fluorescent light bulb is, while others would simply see a lot of information but not any examples. By including both information and facts with pictures explaining which non-toxic cleaning products or long-lasting products one should buy, brings together knowledge and visuals, which hopefully equals a ‘greener’ environment.

Overall, this Internet assignment was very interesting and difficult at the same time. It became very hard to communicate at first with the group, seeing as we didn't know what topic to choose. The whole concept of the assignment was very confusing to me right away, but by reading everyones posts and questions on the discussion board i started to grasp the idea more. What worked well was dividing up the questions and assigning them to a person. If everyone would have done each question, we wouldn't have known how to decide who's to choose and it would have basically been extra and pointless work for those who's did not get posted. The Internet conventions we used for this project was solely this discussion board. It was however, difficult to remember to check the discussion board, so every once and a while someone would type an urgent message but no one would respond for a while. I would change the way we used the blog in this assignment. Even though one of the main points of this assignment was to use a blog, i don't really think anyone paid that much attention to any other groups blogs, considering it seemed that we were all in a time crunch. After posting our questions on the discussion board people forgot that, oh wait, we have to post it to the blog and that got to be confusing. Thankfully the members of my group didn't forget though because, i'll be honest, once i clicked post i totally forgot that the blog was the means of our communication and answers. In general, this assignment was very confusing at times but helped me see what it is like to work with people solely via the Internet.

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