Pecha Kucha

  1. Advertisements are now all too common in our everyday lives. It’s hard to go by through the day without seeing at least one commercial whether it be on a billboard, a magazine, television, or a webpage. Sometimes we just completely hate seeing them especially when we browse the internet that we take matters into our own hands and go ahead and install AdBlock.
  2. Sometimes, the case is the complete opposite, particularly during a Super Bowl game where on some occasions more attention is given to the advertisements than to the actual game. Costing an upwards of $4 million for a 30 second spot and an absurd $8 million dollars for a 60 second spot, the biggest questions that always comes to mind is, “Is it worth it?”
  3. For example, some companies build a reputation that people learn to recognize over time. Take for example, this commercial about a Maserati. Instead of just advertising a car and telling about its specifications, it instead uses emotion and ties in the brand name briefly so that when people come across the name again, they remember it because of the emotion they felt.
  4. Well, if companies play their cards right, then the answer is a definitive, “Yes.” In order for a company to be successful, they must be able to analyze consumer feedback and respond to their buying patterns. They can target audiences in multiple ways—from brand name recognition to single product marketing to high quality service showcasing.
  5. Web advertising was first used to supplement full-page colored magazine ads. It started from a lucrative $30, $50, and even $100 per 1000 impressions back in 1998. An impression is defined as the ‘display of an ad to a user while viewing a webpage’.
  6. Traditional means of web advertising included methods such as banner ads, floating ads, sky-scraper ads, sidebar ads, and popup ads. Though they are still very commonly used today, the profits have dwindled to a mere $0.30, $0.50, and $1.00 per 1000 impressions.
  7. These dwindling prices do a good job of reflecting traditional advertisements’ dwindling effectiveness. There was an obvious flaw in this mechanism. There was always the problem of possible fraud such as multiple refreshes counting as multiple impressions even despite ad server precautions to prevent such activities.
  8. As a result, a new form of advertisement adopted by Google has taken over: AdWords. If you’ve never heard of it, you’ve definitely used. It is what primarily runs Google’s search engine. AdWords differs from the traditional method in that a company pays for actual clicks and page visits rather than impressions.
  9. AdWords works by targeting audiences with specific advertisements geared toward a specific search query. Take for example, the blog post we use for this class. There are keywords that we use to distinguish a reading response post from an experiential post. An experiential post could be a TED Talk, and then there could be certain keywords that characterize that TED Talk.
  10. So as you can see, the more specific the keywords used, the higher the quality score if you were to, let’s say advertise your blog post to the general public. Quality score is used in conjunction with a bid number, which is how much a company is willing to pay per click. Multiply these two numbers together and one’s ad rank can be calculated.
  11. Ad rank is what advertisers use to compete for spots with one another, with the advertiser with the highest rank situated at the top of the search results. It kept the playing field even as quality score trumped over how much you paid per bid. This prevented certain companies from simply buying out the competition by paying for a branded keyword.
  12. A component that is not included in the equation for calculating ad rank but is just as important is: the quality of the advertisement and how successful it is at satisfying customers. What makes this form of advertisement unique is that Google becomes more successful with the success of others as opposed to the vice versa.
  13. When people use Google’s search engine and find what they need with relative ease, they build up a positive reputation. This upstanding reputation is what will translate into profit and revenue. Satisfied customers will generally come back again because they believe in the reliability of the company.
  14. It’s like in that TED Talk with Simon Sinek where he talks about the Golden Circle. He says, “…every single organization on the planet, knows what they do…Some know how they do it…But very, very few…know why they do what they do.” The same thing applies to web advertising.
  15. Some ads are completely irrelevant to what a user is currently browsing. They are there just for the sake of being there in the off-chance that their service or product appeals to the user. How they do it? They do it by annoying the user with screen-sized ads and pop-ups in the hopes that they buy their service or product.
  16. Google, on the other hand, works to give their customers convenient search results. How they do it? They do it by making sure advertisers that rank top in various search queries offer quality and relevant What you’re left with is a company that values progress as a community rather than independently.
  17. This methodology and ideology is a testament to Google’s success. Take for example, YouTube when it was bought out by Google back in 2006 for $1.65 billion. YouTube was founded in 2005 by a ragtag of three PayPal employees from various backgrounds in design and computer science.
  18. It became one of the fastest growing sites just months after its creation and Google saw its potential. Google responded in a constructive way by saying ‘You guys have a brilliant thing going on here. Let us help you help us improve on this idea to make it something even more.”
  19. Google and YouTube will continue to become successful because of the standards that they center their ideals of advertising around. They cater to the individual and personal needs of their customers. You will never see the same YouTube homepage as another as its suggestions are unique to the user based on data collected about them.
  20. Time and time again, we will see changes in medium of advertisement. But there is always that hidden message or automatic connection with which most people learn to associate themselves with. Is this a commercial about Bridgestone Tires or actually a message telling drivers not to swerve for squirrels on the road?

Multimodal Essay Brainstorming

There are two types of people in this world: those who buy their music and those who download their music for free.

Piracy

Attempts at stopping piracy – Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

Torrenting

Motivations for torrenting

Are companies really losing out on profit?

Argument of lost sales – what buyers don’t spend on music and movies goes somewhere else

http://freakonomics.com/2012/01/12/how-much-do-music-and-movie-piracy-really-hurt-the-u-s-economy/

No actual tangible loss for the sellers

Stakes and consequences for copyright infringment

Internet Service Providers (ISP)

http://lifehacker.com/5870042/what-does-my-internet-provider-see-when-im-downloading-torrents

Track internet usage

Detection of pirated material on online cloud storages

Safety of our cloud storages, they are after all stored in a physical off-site location

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/cloud-computing/files-safe-in-the-cloud.htm

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/articles/oem/twp-oracledbcloudbackup-130129.pdf

Sharing and/or selling of personal information

Terms of Agreement and loopholes

How the NSA tracks our data and information

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-are-the-nsa/

Evolution of the image of Julian Assange (rough draft)

http://www.biography.com/people/julian-assange-20688499#sexual-assault-controversy
This article is fairly neutral regarding opinion on Julian Assange, which is difficult to find on such a controversial character. It describes him as a man who has a passion for computers, but also touches on incidents such as leaking classified information about Guantanamo bay and alleged sexual assault charges. It does not state an opinion regarding whether or not he was right or wrong to leak this information, it simply states what he did and what the consequences were. His image in 2014 has certainly improved since 2010, when he was widely regarded as a threat to national security. He has always had a wide base of supporters who support free speech and oppose government surveillance, but that base has only grown since 2010. The main factor that contributed to this growing support was the recent NSA surveillance scandal, which opened everyone’s eyes to what the government was doing and in turn made people realize they want to know more about what exactly they are doing.  In 2010, however, the general consensus was that some things needed to be kept secret to ensure the safety of our country. This still holds true, and most people do realize that, but they are more picky now about what the government hides from them. The fact the the government was listening to our phone calls without us knowing certainly did not sit well with the general public. The recent bringing to light of questionable government activities has improved the ever controversial image of the national hero or enemy that is Julian Assange.

Multimodal Essay {revised}: Holding Piracy at Bay

Holding Piracy at Bay

There are two types of people in this world: those who buy their music and those who download their music for free. Despite being such a preposterous proposition, this statement does in fact hold some merit to it. Piracy has always been an issue even before the era of technology. However, it came with much more troublesome worry and unnecessary risk than what it was financially worth.  Nonetheless, with the advent of the digital age, the norms and limitations of society were redefined. As the UNC Digital Commons Project explains, “due to the nature of digital media, an identical quality copy can be manufactured with great ease and very little in terms of materials, technical knowledge and expense.” Even more so is this reality magnified by the anonymity of the internet, where people do not have to take responsibility for their actions as there are ways to avoid being held accountable—from masking one’s IP to setting up VPN’s (virtual private networks). The ambiguity of actions performed through the internet is a major contributing factor to online piracy. In light of this growth, the truth is companies do not experience real, significant, tangible losses as a result to online piracy. The extent in which companies are willing to go in order to recover their losses through collection of personal data is not justified by any means.

Continue reading Multimodal Essay {revised}: Holding Piracy at Bay

Beer: The Facts of the Industry

https://magic.piktochart.com/output/3488185-untitled-infographic#

When thinking up ideas for this infographic, we asked ourselves, “What can we make that many people might have an interest in, yet not know much about?” Being typical college students, one of the first things that came to mind was beer, so we chose the consumption and production of this alcoholic beverage as the focus of our project. We figured that the effects and consequences of consuming beer was already well known, but the amount of beer produced and consumed was not as commonly known. Although the drinking age is 21 in the United States and 18 in multiple other countries, we targeted this infographic to everyone and anyone. We’re not condoning the consumption of beer in anyway, just presenting the facts behind who makes and drinks the most beer.

Yellow, beige and brown are very common colors of beer, so we decided to stay true to the theme when choosing the colors of the infographic. We feel that the contrast with the white background is a simple, yet effective contrast. We used several kinds of pictures and graphs to help visualize the data we compiled. Our three best graphs, though, definitely are the US map, the Countries’ Consumption bar graph, and the pie chart of companies that produce the most beer. The map of the United States, with each state colored in different sades of yellow and beige, represent different ranges of alcoholic consumption in gallons per capita. The darker the shade, the higher the consumption per capita. For example, on average, residents of North Dakota consume the most alcohol, with 45.8 gallons of beer consumed per capita in the year 2012. We feel that visualizing the consumption by state makes these statistics, as well as possible trends, easier to understand and see. The first bar graph shows the same statistics, except it reveals the top six beer consuming countries instead. In this case, we wanted to show the top six in comparison to each other, since we noticed a significant difference between first and second. So, a bar graph was the way to go. The pie chart, which contains the top beer producing companies, truly displays the point we were trying to show. When looking at the graph, we noticed that the amount of beer that those five companies produce is nearly equivalent to the rest of the world combined. We were shocked when we noticed this, so we definitely intended to reveal our discovery.

In the end, we’re proud and glad with the final result of our infographic. We researched numerous statistics and pieces of data and feel that we best represented our findings for our audience.

Sources:

http://www.top5ofanything.com/index.php?h=e479960a

http://www.top5ofanything.com/index.php?h=02e9e62c

http://visual.ly/global-beer-consumption-statistics-and-trends

Afraid of the Outdoors?

Infographic

Our infographic focuses on the hazards of the wilderness based on the ways in which people have died in outdoor recreation. In each instance, the years for the data collection is given as well as the type of recreational activity the victim was performing at the time of death. Each activity is indicated by a color. Blue stands for skydiving, red for caving, and yellow green for backcountry deaths (which includes rock climbing, hiking, biking, camping, and rafting). The purpose of this infographic is to make people more aware of what the actual hazards of the wilderness are as opposed to what people think they are. For instance, many campers are scared of being eaten by bears while in reality, people are much more likely to die from an accidental fall than from animal attack. Continue reading Afraid of the Outdoors?

Picking the right paintbrush

infographic-final

When deciding on a topic, we began by thinking about what our common interests are. We were both in the same AP Art class in high school and we spent a lot of time together working with different paints and materials. At first, we planned on researching different types of paint and designing our infographic to direct people to which types of paint to use in separate situations. However, we could not think of a very good way to incorporate images on our infographic with out it looking like a power point slide from a middle school presentation with large blocks of images or very unrealistic looking graphics. We then decided that we could better present directions on how to decide which paint brushes to use in different situations and for different techniques. It was after this that we came up with the idea to do a flow chart to help viewers understand what we are communicating. With the amount of paintbrushes available for sale and use, it can be overwhelming and confusing when trying to decide which ones are necessary to have and what each kind is used for.

This infographic could be useful for anyone from inexperienced to expert painters. However, our targeted audience is beginner to mid-level painters who are still experimenting with different brushes to find their most and least favorites. This infographic could also be useful for posting in a retail store that sells paintbrushes so that people refer to it so that they would know which are the most basic brushes that will produce a variety of effects. We decided to include pictures of each brush that were recommended for each technique in hopes that the viewer would better understand our suggestions. Our flow chart consisted of some basic questions that would help determine which type of brush to use for a desired effect. The simplicity of the questions made it easy enough to follow for the audience we were reaching out to; the beginner to mid-level painters. The bottom our infographic has further detail of each brush to give a more complete description of the paintbrush. When we got to the end after adding all of our information, we were very satisfied with how everything had turned out other than the fact that there was a large blank space on the right side of our image. We then decided to further our previous thinking by not only including the physical brushes in the infographic but also the actual strokes that each brush would produce to provide a visual of the strokes explained in the description of each brush.

When making decisions, we always talked everything over with each other to make sure that we were both on the same page with what was going on with the project and where the project was headed. Even though we had some trouble finding time to meet outside of class, we were still able to meet up for what we needed and complete the project on time.

Overdoing Turkey Day

Untitled Infographic

 

Choosing a topic for this project proved to be a very difficult job. We sat down many times to discuss ideas but always seemed to get side tracked and start talk about the upcoming break. Since this infographic was suppose to be about something that interested us both, and it seemed like all we could think about at the time was the week off from school, we decided to do our infographic on Thanksgiving.

At first we were going to do our infographic on the Pros of Thanksgiving. Overtime though, we realized that everyone knows the good things about this holiday, and an infographic over this topic would not be teaching the audience anything they did not already know. Therefore, we decided to be more original and point out some of the Cons of one of America’s favorite holidays. More specifically, we wanted to point out some ways in which America tends to “overdue” on this particular day.

America celebrates Thanksgiving every year on the fourth Thursday in November. Since it only happens once a year we do not realize just how much money goes into preparing this special meal.

info

This portion of our infographic shows that in total America spends over 2 billion dollars on a single meal.

Turkey is not the only thing that people are spending way too much on around the time of this holiday. The day after Thanksgiving almost every store nationwide will participate in a tradition of slashing their prices to a yearly low. This is known as Black Friday.

info 2

As shown above, over 135 million people will sleep outside on Thanksgiving night just to get a good spot for the opening of their favorite stores on Friday. After the Friday roles to an end a total of nearly 60 billion dollars will have been spent on things such as clothes and electronics.

Besides the amount of spending, things such as car crashes also increase on this day of the year. Due to the drinking that usually accompanies this meal, and the amount of people on the roads racing to their favorite stores to get a good spot for Black Friday, the number of automobile crashes, on average, will rise to 58,000 and over 500 people will die as a result.

info 3

This image captures how many crashes and fatalities occur on this single day just last year.

Thanksgiving is a day known for overeating and oversleeping, but this infographic is useful in the fact that it brings to people’s attention the overspending and overdoing in other aspects that occur on this famous day. Overall, our design uses corny pictures to get the audience’s attention before presenting them with statistics that show the results of overdoing Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

Rosetta Mission

ENG_1101_Rosetta (1)

Initially, we had many ideas for an infographic, ranging from something as simple the composition of the earth as the to something more complex like rocket science, but together we decided to choose Rosetta’s mission and its pivotal rendezvous with the Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P) comet because it was topical and something not everyone knew about. As we researched more specifics about the mission, we found that the precision and planning required for a mission like this was incredible and that the general public may not fully appreciate how revolutionary this mission could be. In order to show our audience how impressive this mission was, we organized the infographic into four sections, with each one covering the mission on a broader scale than the section above it to show the bigger picture. At the beginning, planned to start from a broad lens and zoom in. However, because the average viewer would not understand the importance of these broad sections without some background we reversed the order. We made the layout of the pictures on a black background to model the emptiness of space.

The first section of the infographic shows specific pieces of the lander and satellite, along with some of the parts’ basic functions. Instead of explaining the function of each instrument on the probe, we focused on just the overall goal of Philae. Because our audience is not expected to be an expert in astronomy, the key points we highlighted were very broad statements that appealed visually, rather than specifying the technical chemistry or engineering behind it. The next section of the infographic, where the comet itself is highlighted, follows this same lack of technicality. Even though the comet seems huge in the image comparing it to notable landmasses, its size is put into perspective by the accompanying text. The text clarifies that something this large is still tiny in space. When comparing relative distances and sizes, meeting up with this comet required as much precision as hitting a specific key on a keyboard on a laptop in San Francisco with a baseball thrown from New York City. The last two sections of the infographic try to impress the audience by showing them how many things had to align in order for things to go well. On its path to the comet, Rosetta had to accelerate through gravitational assists, by flying close to planets, and go to sleep for extended periods of time to conserve its energy. To model the gravitational assist, the picture does seem a bit technical, but the purpose of the image is to show the audience the specific maneuvering required for Rosetta to pick up speed and arrive at its proper destination.

This infographic serves to not only get people interested in long-term space projects but also to inform them of the tremendous effort it takes in order to make a project like this happen. For most people on the internet reading about Rosetta, the project was only relevant for the few months where it was capturing data. By helping the audience realize that these projects take time to develop, it may make the audience curious and ask, “Are there any more space projects that have already been initiated?” (They would be pleasantly surprised to find that there is another long term space project, New Horizons, that is due to arrive at Pluto next summer).

 

Infographic

Infographic

https://magic.piktochart.com/output/3552547-untitled-infographic-conflict-#.VG6eT1b_LVQ.wordpress

(Couldn’t get a clear version to come out. Link is above.)

Choosing football was a pretty easy decision for us. We wanted to find some criteria that could help inform and be interesting at the same time. Everyone wants to see Tech go to the ACC championships, so we decided to create a statistic to show our chances compared to the other competitors. In addition, we showed team stats and how both passing and rushing compare. One thing that we were both surprised about is that Tech has the highest total yards of any team, including Florida State. Seeing that Tech has no influence on whether or not they go to the ACC championships, it puts a lot more focus on the two who do have control over it. At the same time, we hoped to keep our infographic with as much info with as few words as possible. This was hard to do because we wanted to compare as many numbers as possible. We used different colors to represent different things. This made it easier to compare and made it more visually appealing. Splitting our infographic into 3 parts, not including the sources, allowed for us to focus on different aspects in each block. The infographic we made is focused on Georgia Tech and how it is compared to the other ACC teams. It was used almost as a constant in many situations.

The first block of our infographic was used as a title. However, we also were able to squeeze in some information at the same time. Comparing Tech’s conference record and overall record was our decision. The second block was focused on the chances of the ACC championship. The green numbers signified that the teams had control over whether or not they make it to the chamionships. In Georgia Tech’s case however, they have no control over it and will have to rely on one of the other two teams to lose. In other words, there are about 20,000 more Tar Heels fans this weekend than normal. Finally, we compared the overall offenses of all of the ACC teams. Surprisingly, Tech, who has nearly the lowest amount of passing yards, still has the highest amount total. This is due to our ridiculous offense that’s basically only rushing. This definitely made me respect Georgia Tech’s offense a lot more than I had previously. If they have as many yards as they do, possibly they’ll have a chance in the championship, assuming they make it. Overall, we found this to be a rather enjoyable project. Getting to select our own topic made it both interesting and enjoyable for us.
Infographic

How to Survive Black Friday

Screenshot (11)

The chosen topic for our infographic is Black Friday. We focused on aspects such as companies with the largest involvement, tips to make someone more successful on their shopping trips, and recommended products that should be bought at that time. Our infographic attempts to convince readers that even though Black Friday is not typically considered a traditional holiday, many people nationwide celebrate it with enthusiasm. Sometimes that enthusiasm leads to terror, evident by the statistics of injuries and fatalities; so we added safety tips for readers. To have the necessary knowledge about Black Friday will make the experience more productive, safe, and also fun.

presents

All of the items under the tree are pictorial representations of data that support our argument. In the center, there are three wrapped gifts labeled with store logos and percentages. During the holiday season, the thoughts of many people revolve around shopping for gifts. Each of the presents symbolizes either an individual retailer or a group as a whole, and the size of the present eludes to the portion of its sales. For example, Wal-Mart is represented as the blue present. It had the largest percentage of sales in 2013, therefore it is represented by the largest gift.

Demo.

On the right side, there is a plate of gingerbread cookies which represents the demographics chart. During our research, we became curious of the types of people who shop on Black Friday. While this may not be extremely important to the shoppers themselves, retailers might be interested in this information. They can better plan out what to sell or discount on Black Friday in order to attract the most shoppers.

BF.CM

On the left side is where we address the “Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday” debate. While some people enjoy physically shopping for the best deals, the idea of shopping at home has increased in popularity. The TV screen shows a chart depicting the total sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with Cyber Monday achieving almost a billion more dollars. Although it is tempting to sit in bed and shop online, not every item is cheaper online. Statistics show that certain items are more commonly bought on one day over the other. The percentage shown represents the portion sold of that one item on that particular day. They show which day is best to get a good deal for that item, based on the percentage of items sold.

Information about Black Friday is often scattered around the internet, so our info graphic brings the information together in one place. We imagine our audience to be anyone interested in shopping on, learning about, or planning to sell on Black Friday. At first, we wanted to do holiday shopping in general, but the most prominent shopping event is Black Friday. By narrowing our topic to a specific event, we created a stronger argument and therefore a better infographic.

Evolution of Rollercoasters

Unknown

When considering infographic topics, we decided to choose one that interested the both of us. As we discussed topics with one another, our conversation began leaning more towards the amusement or theme park industry, and we ended up choosing to design an infographic on the evolution of roller coasters. The first coaster, known as Switchback Railway, was built in 1884, and it revolutionized the theme park and amusement ride industry. Disregarding the fact that the ride lacked a chain or cable lift and was only able to attain a top speed of around six miles per hour, it was a major hit. It pushed the boundaries of modern physics and engineering, and lead to the entertaining, G-force induced thrill rides we have today. The Switchback Railway image can be seen in the first part of the infographic above. After seventy five years of these wooden roller coasters, the first steel coaster, known as the Matterhorn Bobsleds, was built in 1959. This ride encouraged rollercoaster engineers worldwide to reconsider the way they were constructing. Steel coasters introduced a smoother and more pleasurable riding experience whilst maintaining the thrilling G-forces of wooden rollercoasters, and as a result became widely popular among enthusiasts. With the introduction of steel coasters came the introduction of inversions, which are elements of rollercoasters that turn riders upside-down. The evolution of inversions in relation to rollercoasters is also part of the infographic, and can be seen through images of coasters such as The Corkscrew, which actually introduced the first of any inversion, and Revolution, which introduced the first vertical loop.

 

The audience that our infographic is targeting is rollercoaster or theme park enthusiasts. The infographic seeks to inform its audience about how rollercoasters have changed and evolved from one century to the next. Anyone doing research on the history and development of rollercoasters, or those who seek knowledge about them for the sake of knowing, would find this infographic helpful and useful. We made sure to choose a color scheme and design template that would catch the eye of our viewers. The design at the top of the infographic, where the title is located, gives it an almost amusing, whimsical look and feel. The orange line that runs down the infographic resembles a rollercoaster and also serves as a basis for our timeline. Notice how the timeline moves from left to right at the top of the infographic, and then inverts toward the middle, just as a rollercoaster would. It then evens out again towards the end. This more so than the actual words on infographic help it to achieve its purpose.

Georgia Tech Running

running inforgraphic asdfasdfasdf

We started our infographic by brainstorming topics, and as runners, we are obligated to make an infographic on running. When we were looking up examples of infographics, we were inspired by one about octopi, which furthered our knowledge and was visually pleasing. We originally came up with two topics, the Olympics and running routes, but decided on running routes. Since we are Georgia Tech and know many running routes in Atlanta that start and end at Georgia Tech, we decided that our audience would be the students at Georgia Tech If someone came across our infographic on the internet, he or she would probably not find it useful, unless he or she spent some time of his or her day at Georgia Tech, and even more specifically, was looking for a route to run.

picture of aqua

Our design compresses a majority of the information in our infographic into the six small maps with writing underneath. This map of the ‘Aqua’ route, like the other five maps, gives information on the how the route goes, its distance, and details about the run. We chose to use maps to show the route because it is by far the easiest way to explain the run, and visuals allow for easy understanding, no matter the person’s background.

picture of large map

This large map makes up the center of the infographic. It allows the audience to orient themselves relative to the Georgia Tech campus, and understand where each run goes relative to the others. Although not necessarily needed, the map serves as a base from which the other maps branch off of, allowing the infographic to be more easily and quickly understood.

picture of title

 

Lastly, the title of our infographic immediately describes the topic of the infographic, and implies the intended audience at the same time. The visuals of the running silhouettes quickly attracts runners and dispels non-runners. The Image of Buzz not shown above also does the same thing, but with Georgia Tech students and alumni, and those associated with the school.

Creating A Dynasty

Creating A Dynasty

We decided to choose our topic because we both love sports, especially basketball.  We also wanted to figure out what makes certain teams dominant over a long period of time, which is why we decided to discuss how a team can become a dynasty.  After doing research, we figured out that there are two different ways that a basketball team can become a dynasty.  One way is to rely on a superstar that can just carry a team to a championship, which is what the Los Angeles Lakers did during the 1980’s to maintain success for the entire decade.  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the superstar for the Lakers, led the league in many important stats, such as win shares, which determines how many wins that player is responsible for.  However, relying on a superstar is not the only way a team can become a dynasty.  From the early 2000’s to now, the Spurs have won four NBA championships, more than any other team over that same span.  The Spurs, instead of relying on one player to carry the whole team, rely on a variety of different players to play well together and win as a team.  Year after year, the Spurs are always one of the best teams in the NBA, but they never have a player who leads the league in any of the major stats, such as points or assists.  The reason they continue to keep winning is because they work well together as a team, and lead the league in many important team stats, such as assists and three point shooting percentage.  Our infographic can definitely be helpful to other people like us who really like basketball and also to people who wonder what it takes to be successful in the NBA.  It also can show people that there is not just one way to be successful, and that there are multiple ways to maintain success over a long period of time.  Our audience is anyone who likes basketball.  Also, our way of telling people how to create a dynasty is unique because the data speaks for itself in an infographic.  Instead of using words to explain how to maintain success, we use a lot of statistics to prove that these ways actually have worked for teams in the past.  By doing this, it makes it very difficult for people to argue with our point, because we have data right here on the infographic that proves our argument.

Infographics: International Students in the US and their Economic Benefits

INT'L STUDENTS

Group Reflections:

Actually we used to think about introducing the life of international students in the United States. However, it is hard to condense that information on an infographic, since international students are very diverse. Also, we couldn’t find much information on that topic. We did some research based on how international students in the US benefit the economy, since there is controversy on limiting the number of international students coming here by making it harder to obtain visas. Then, we decided to include basic demographics on international students and how economic benefit grew when the number of international students in the US increased, for those  who are interested in how international students have an impact in the US.

 INT'L STUDENTS-2

As the first image of our infographic, this picture serves to offer some basic facts about international students in the US and to establish our basic argument. The map in the background highlights the top 10 countries of origin that these international students come from. We also address the total contribution to US economy, in order to highlight our argument that international students actually make considerable contributions to US society.

INT'L STUDENTS-1

This picture depicts the top 10 states international students choose to go to. International students tend to go to urbanized areas to study. Seven of the ten most popular state lies in the Northeastern part of the US. These states tend to harbor institutions with longer history and better reputation. Moreover, these states possess a more active economy environment which may provide the international students with a better platform for career development after their graduation. We talk about international students’ major choices later in our infographic. In general international students are inclined to choose business or engineering for better employment opportunities usually found in more developed areas. Therefore, this image also lay a foundation of our future claim.

 INT'L STUDENTS-3This picture is actually a combination of two graphs. The shaded area represents the economic benefits brought by international students and the blue line represents the number of international students. In this way we can see a positive correlation between number of international students and economic benefit. In addition, the economic benefits and the number of international students are not in the same scale. For example, the actual economic benefit in Fall 2008 is $17657 million while the number of international students is 671616. These data are hard to put in a single graph. However, since we only need to clarify the relationship between them, combining separate graphs seems to be a great solution. In addition, we can also see an increasing trend of “jobs supported”. This line serves as an evidence of the economic benefits.

Our group made decisions based on available information we found online. Using Piktochart, we used many different graph features to convey data we collected. In that way, our infographic is more visually appealing and easy to read.

Too distant, and not close enough.

In Moretti’s rather lengthy work on the way in which historical literature is assessed, a single concern was stressed. Too much time is spent on too little novels to create an accurate view of how literature has changed over time. His proposed solution to this problem is the use of big data to determine the true underlying genre “cycles” that lie underneath by looking at all of the novels written throughout history as a whole.

Moretti brilliantly uses analogies as well as countless graphs throughout his paper to back up his claim. And through backing up his claim, he points out clear patterns found in literature through the use of data that would be near impossible to find just by looking at the classically defined literary periods people were taught to believe. Moretti points out such phenomenon as how political strife is a major influence in the creation of books and the genres written in them and that cyclically the amount of men and women writing novels favors one over the other every ten years or so. While many of these facts are known, Moretti puts his own spin on it by claiming that these emphasized literary revolutions are just part of an ever continuing cycle.

Moretti adds a catch to his claim in the last chapter where he states, “Do cycles and genres explain everything, ( I would like to draw attention to the grammatically awkward comma placement after everything in this quote) in the history of literature? Of course not.” This adds closure to his claim which, in effect, strengthens it; however, I am not completely sold on it. Moretti also writes, “Both synchronically and diachronically, in other words, the novel is the system of its genres: the whole diagram, not one privileged part of it. Some genres are morphologically more significant, of course, more popular, or both-and we must account for this: but not by pretending that they are the only ones that exist,” in order to give credit to the studying of classical novels in the way in which we always have-one novel at a time.

I appreciate the way in which Moretti analyzes the cyclical nature of literature because it does seem to be a relevant and interesting trend that I am interested to see continue in today’s literary culture; however, I still believe that the merit in studying classics is worth more than Moretti’s new system. Analyzing the most popular, and therefore most expressive books of the generation’s cultural interests, has great benefits in that one can see the individual qualities that make that era’s “cyclical shift” more unique in itself. While it may be true that patterns exist, the reasons behind these patterns are still more important to me than the patterns themselves.

Literary Trends

“The gaze of the historians [was directed] towards extraordinary events…historians resembled collectors: both gathered only rare and curious objects, disregarding whatever looked banal, everyday, normal… History was an idiographic discipline, having as its objects that which does not repeat itself.”

This is a quote that Moretti pulled out of a piece of work written by Pomain. He uses this quote to claim that our culture only focuses on the extraordinary and exceptional events. He then goes on to say that this not only applies in history but also in literature. Moretti argues that literary historians need to start focusing on the everyday events.

The literary field is very massive. Throughout this piece of work Moretti describes just how small of a fraction of the literary field is actually being studied. Since this is the case, he uses research that other people have already complied so he can get a wider range of knowledge. He studies this data not as a bunch of separate pieces of work but as one large mass of facts, because he sees it as a collective system.

By studying this data, he believes that future predictions about trends of novels from different parts of the world can be made. Moretti’s claims seem to be very accurate in terms of the truth. If a person looks at history as individual events, the future may seem random and uncertain. If that same person looked at history as a series of collective events, then they might start to see a consistent pattern. From this pattern they can then predicted what some aspects of the future will be like.

Datafication of Social Trends

As we look back on our lives, we tend to see our lives as a collection of important and life changing events. We tend to remember these major and significant life events because they stick out among the other unexciting events. Throughout this reading, Franco Moretti pushes us to forget our personal perspective on our lives and instead see our lives through the viewpoint of an outsider. What seems special to us may actually not be special at all. Moretti decides to focus on how the trends of novels can be predicted. He quotes Fernand Braudel to further show how the method and procedures of examining history are more successful than just history itself; “An incredible number of dice, always rolling, dominate and determine each individual existence: uncertainty, then, in the realm of individual history; but in that of collective history…simplicity and consistence. History is indeed ‘a poor little conjectural science’ when it selects individuals as its objects…but much more rational in its procedures and results, when it examines groups and repetitions” (Moretti 4).

The life events we all go through seem to be random and unplanned but through these processes and methods of examining history, definite outcomes can be determined. Although this concept seems far-fetched, Moretti’s point becomes more valid the more we look into it. As technology develops, the datafication of many different aspects of our lives seem more possible. Moretti examines literature as an extension of our culture. The relationship between certain genres and types of writing and different regions can be used to determine how similar or different regions are from one another.

Along with his claim that outcomes of live events can be determined, Moretti also believes that emotions can be predicted through data. His assumption that emotions and feelings can be calculated makes life seem a little more robotic in nature. The freedom to feel the way we want to is our innate behavior. Not everything can be controlled by the study of data and even as the ability to do so develops, some things should be left untouched and true to the natural behavior of the human race.

“United States” vs “America”

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When the phrase “United States” is compared to the word “America” on Google Ngram viewer, the results depict a gradual increase in the use of “America” since the 1800’s and a bunch of fluctuations in use of “United States.” Both words/phrases reached high points in the 1960s, likely due to the Vietnam and Korean wars. “United States” also had a streak of increased use from 1880 to 1940, likely due to the several wars that we were involved in during those decades. The strangest thing about the Ngram viewer results was the incredibly high use of “United States” in the early 1820s. There were no political issues, other than the change to a more democratic system, and the US was not involved in any wars. “United States'” highest use came obviously in the late 1770s with the America Revolution followed by the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Today, the two words are used almost equivalently, although this is the first time that use of “America” has been relatively close to the use of “United States.” This trend is possibly from increased laziness of American society; we would much rather just say “America” than “United States.” While the Ngram viewer does not go past 2008, I believe that the use of “America” could have possibly surpassed the use of “United States” now, with the help of the popular slang term ‘Merica that is so frequently used in society currently.

 

 

Social Trends and Data

“But what would happen if literary historians, too, decided to ‘shift their gaze’ (Pomian again) ‘from the extraordinary to the everyday, from exceptional events to the large mass of facts’? What literature would we find, in ‘the large mass of facts’?”

Moretti takes a unique approach by looking at the big picture and trying to take in a large number of facts instead of focusing in on one little thing or group of things.

Most people have heard something along the lines of: “the body is more than just the sum of its parts.” Moretti argues that this is true not only in this context but also in the context of literature. He studies multiple trends together of the novel in different countries as well as looks at historical events of that time in each country and culture and how they may have influenced not only the number of novels being published but also the most common type or genre being published at that time. By doing this, he can see that there is a relationship between many countries and the number of novels that they are producing and the types that they are producing.

“Moretti uses data gathered by outside researchers to gather his own facts as well as make his claims. He assumes that all of these separate researchers data is correct and that it is applicable to the situations that he is aiming to use this research in. He also assumes that data is able to predict the emotions that a society will have based on the types of novels that are getting published and read. It seems nearly impossible to be able to predict what will come next based on numerous separate studies; however, Moretti shows that these specific groupings of data can do just that.