As my final semester at Towson winds down, this is my last chance to talk with my enormous and loyal blog following. If you can navigate through the sarcasm, the following blog is an interesting one worth reading. I read the blogs of various classmates in my media criticism course, picked four of my favorites and left my own comments with various opinions about each post.
Reading the work of my peers helps to reinforce everything I learned about media criticism while also opening my eyes to different ideas and perspectives. Two heads are better than one, they say, so what do they say about over 30 heads? It must be they-gravy.
Here are the four comments I left on my classmates’ blogs:
Comment #1: Jeffrey Woodruff
Jeffrey has done a wonderful job using semiotics to analyze an extremely risqué print advertisement for Tom Ford cologne. While the overarching theme of sexuality is obvious, Jeffrey goes a little deeper and interprets almost every possible sign present in the ad. His analysis is excellent, but I have some different interpretations and suggestions for improvement that I would like to mention.
The model’s red painted nails are a sign that Jeffrey missed. Red represents sexuality and passion in both the fingernails and lipstick in this advertisement, but only the lipstick is mentioned in the blog post. Also, the white background behind the model resembles bed sheets to me, not innocence or purity, and in my opinion Tom Ford is trying to make the reader imagine that he is personally engaging in intimate relations with the model. Of course I didn’t design this ad, so I could be wrong.
Another brief quibble I have with Jeffrey’s post is the lack of any real hyperlinks. The web addresses of his relevant links are just text and would need to be highlighted, copied and pasted in order for anyone to visit them. It doesn’t take much time to apply an actual hyperlink; this slight addition would greatly improve the functionality of the blog post.
The print ad Jeffrey analyzed is, in the blog author’s own word, “shocking,” making it a very interesting subject for a post. I commend him for spicing up his blog with such an explicit ad.
Comment #2: Molly Bartello
Molly, your blog post is quite interesting. You make several valid points and really delve into great detail about the effects of certain portrayals in the media on American society as a whole. Describing ideological criticism and political economy is difficult, and you did a nice job clearly conveying these concepts. Kudos for doing a difficult job very well!
Unfortunately, I do see several improvements that you could make if writing this blog post again. In the opening paragraphs, there are several typos, misused punctuation, fragments and other basic grammatical errors. From your other writing, it is clear that you have strong writing skills. I assume you were in a hurry submitting this post by the deadline and overlooked such mistakes. If not, here is a link to a list of basic grammar rules for reference in future writing.
Another gripe I have is the length of the paragraphs. Blog paragraphs are supposed to be very short and never longer than five sentences to ensure that readers can keep focused on the story. I had trouble keeping focused on this post because of the paragraph length and am sure others will too.
The best part of this post is the Simpsons video. That show will never stop being funny, and it was a great idea to include it in your blog to better explain your concepts. Keep up the good work.
Comment #3: Paul Siegel
Of all of my classmates’ blogs I have read, Paul’s post about Ideological Criticism and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles both entertained and intrigued me the most. The post’s opening gives a very clear explanation of a complex subject, and Paul uses very engaging language. The best blog posts are both amusing and informative; this entry meets both criteria.
I was impressed by Paul’s explanation of synergy. Using the Jonas Brothers as an example, Paul vividly explains how the dominant elites sell their products by coming at consumers from all angles. And defining synergy serves as a great transition to Paul’s humorous Ninja Turtle anecdotes.
Ninja Turtles merchandise was also a weakness of mine, although unlike Paul it is one I have outgrown in my journey into old age. I too had all of the action figures, videos and comic books for years until a fateful yard sale in my teenage years. I never realized how big of a sucker I was at the time, and Paul’s blog conveys the same shock I felt when I learned the hard truth.
Concerning Paul’s blog, I see very little room for improvement on the content front but grammar could be better. I posted this link on another blog too; it is a website with basic grammar rules and can possibly help. But the style of Paul’s blog is fantastic. Your personality really shines through!
Comment #4: Rhiannon Perry
The first thing I thought when I read Rhiannon’s blog was, “what a title!” Naming the post “A Very Brady Criticism” ties the subject matter into the theme from the Brady Bunch movies, namely “A Very Brady Sequel,” and instantly engaged me as a reader. Call me a dork for remembering that movie, but it seems that Rhiannon has seen it, too.
The title grabbed my attention and the post itself delivered the goods. Rhiannon gives great detail defining both narrative criticism and structuralism, followed by a perfect explanation and application of Todorov’s equilibrium concept. She gives a link to a Brady Bunch episode followed by a clear breakdown into the five steps of Todorov’s equilibrium model. If a reader didn’t understand Todorov before reading this blog, they certainly will after.
External links are plentiful and useful, further enhancing the blog post. Rhiannon even closes the post with a humorous Brady Bunch blooper reel to leave readers laughing. This extra attention to detail is rare among blogs for this media criticism course and places Rhiannon’s blog ahead of almost all of the rest.
The text is a little small and the paragraphs a tad long, but Rhiannon’s Brady Bunch blog post is clear, entertaining, informative and useful. Hers could be an example of how a student’s blog should look.
This is not the first blog I have used for assignments here at Towson, but I have enjoyed maintaining it. Posting assignments online is preferred to handing in papers because anyone can read them and they can be sent and reviewed electronically. I prefer this method and am happy that Dr. Nichols integrated a blog into the course.
Reviewing the blog writing of peers is another part of this course that I recommend holding on to. It’s educational to hear what others are thinking and to see the different styles in which they write, and using one blog assignment to learn from others was a great idea.