Listicles

Before exploring the world of listicles, I had no idea what they were. To me, it sounds like it would be some type of song lyrics. However, after viewing various forms and examples of listicles, I realized I do know what they are, I just never knew what they were called.

While reading an article on Thought Bubble, by Nyree Mckenzie, who is the owner of Thought Bubble, it states that listicles have been around for years, however, I feel as though listicles are perfect for this generation because they are short, sweet, and to the point. Now-a-days, no one feels like reading a long, drawn out article if they don’t have to. It is preferred to see visuals and have a brief description.

Buzzfeed is a website in which various listicles and articles can be found. It is flooding with entertaining listicles such as Here’s Everything You Need To Know To Actually Lose Body Fat, 34 Times the Kardashians Were Almost Too Kardashian, and Which Reality TV Show Would You Star On Based On Three Questions. These listicles are all titled with typical “pull ins” to make a reader interested in reading their piece. One can also find listicles in magazines, social media, or even on street advertisements.

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The home of listicles

 According to Nyree McKenzie, “Listicles are as old as the 1o Commandments and commercially, we are no strangers to ‘listicles’ either. In the print world, magazine covers vying for the checkout impulse purchase played on our yearning to know ‘5 things he will never tell you’; who’s on the ‘BRW’s richest 200′ or the ’10 must-have items you need in your wardrobe’.”

Listicles are not only entertaining to read, but they also create their own genre based on their unique style and format. Listicles typically have an intriguing title to grab the readers’ attention. I have created two listicles using Buzz Feed in the “count down” format.

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Listicles on Buzzfeed

Listicles are a way of sharing information and articles within a creative genre. Like the listicle that I have created, it follows certain conventions and constraints in which readers can enjoy this style of writing.

Nyree Mckenzie states, “In the online and mobile world, listicles are equally loved as much for their condensed, cut to the chase information as they are accused of promoting lazy journalism for the semi-illiterate news biter.”

Every listicle follows this format of having short and to the point information which is why they form their own genre of inviting and friendly reading for viewers.

Memes

Memes have been a huge trend within the last few years on social media. Memes create funny and/or meaningful captioned pictures that viewers can share.

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Just going to sip my tea

According to Shifman, “These paths can be thought of as meme genres. Defined as ‘socially recognized types of communicative action,’ genres share not only structures and stylistic features, but also themes, topics, and intended audiences.”

Limor Shifman is the author of Meme Genre and she studies new media. As Shifman stated, these meme genres are for one to share with others to get a reaction from a specific audience. One has to have knowledge of what a meme is and what the meme displays in order for them to understand the content. For example, if you showed a friend a meme of a certain TV show but the friend has never seen that TV show, then they will most likely not understand what the meme is about. In this genre, the audience needs to be informed and educated on the topic to understand it.

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I’m so intrigued

Shifman states, “As public discourse, meme genres play an important role in the construction of group identity and social boundaries. Ryan Milner shows  that while technically meme creation is becoming increasingly easy– specialized websites offer templates that even a six-year-old can operate– creating and understanding memes requires sophisticated ‘meme literacy.’ In what follows, I assert that different meme genres involve different levels of literacy: some can be understood (and created) by almost anyone, whereas others require detailed knowledge about a digital meme subculture.”

This genre requires a previous background knowledge of the topic that is being shared. However, like Shifman states, it is generally easy to create a meme and share it with others if one is aware and educated on the topic that they are creating them meme about.

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Generous Oprah

 

The Gift of Gifs

For those who do not know what Gifs are, they are a short looping video clip or picture that is typically used for humorous animated purposes.

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Just passed that test!

Jason Eppink wrote the article “A brief history of the GIF (so far)” and within the article he explains more in depth what GIFs are and how they came about.

Eppink states, “Today ‘GIF’ is typically used to mean an animated GIF file or an otherwise short, silent, looping, untitled moving image. It has a creator who is unknown or deemphasized; it is encountered by an individual viewer on a personal screen where it is surrounded by text and other media; and it is shared casually as a form of identity-making, a cinema of affiliation.”

GIFs can be found on any social media site and even text messages for others to share and communicate about. For most, GIFs are used to generate a laugh about a certain topic or image. Understanding your audience when sending or sharing a GIF is important because if the person that is receiving the GIF is unfamiliar with what is being displayed, then they will not understand it. GIFs form their own genre by communicating in a different way than normal. One could share a GIF with a friend and communicate to them without typing out words or speaking. They can also provide tone or gesture to a text message or post that one is trying to send.

In addition, the creator of these GIFs are typically anonymous which also contributes to its unique genre.

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year

According to Eppink, “Web creators who wanted to include animated GIFs on their pages saved copies on their servers and hosted the files themselves. Many websites served galleries of GIFs, encouraging others to download and use them on their own sites with little regard for who originally created them.”

Having an anonymous creators contributes to the GIFs genre. Each genre has a certain form that is followed which helps someone distinguish what genre they are looking at.

Kerry Dirk discusses genres in her article and states, “Devitt argues that ‘people do not label a particular story as a joke solely because formal features but rather because of their perception of the rhetorical action that is occurring.’. True, genres often have formulaic features, but these features can change even as the nature of the genre remains.”

The genre that GIFs create are moving images or looping video clips that give a social purpose for sharing with others. GIFs typically have words on them that generate a funny message or saying that others can relate to. When sharing a GIF, one can simply hit the share button without writing a caption because the GIF already has a caption on it. Overall, this genre is simple and easy to use or understand.

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Trump calls Hilary 

Navigating Genres

Genres are something that mostly everyone has heard of, whether it be genres of books, movies, music, etc. Personally, when I hear the word genre I typically think of books. Book genres consist of romance, horror, fiction, non-fiction, etc. However, after reading Kerry Dirk’s chapter “Navigating Genres”, within the essay Writing SpacesI have realized there are so many other genres beyond books.

Dirk states, “In other words, knowing what a genre is used for can help people to accomplish goals, whether that goal be getting a job by knowing how to write a stellar resume, winning a person’s heart by writing a romantic love letter, or getting into college by writing an effective personal statement.”

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Multiple Genres

Digital genres are something that I have not really thought about before reading Dirk’s piece. Within this essay, she discusses genres as a way of communicating with others, specifically through music. This made me think of ways that I communicate in digital genres. In today’s society I would argue that most individuals use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to communicate with others. People who use these sites post things to talk to their audience or get a reaction out of them.

Dirk states, “By this point you might realize that  you have been participating in many different genres– whether you are telling a joke, writing an email, or uploading a witty status of Facebook. Because you know how these genres function as social actions, you can quite accurately predict how they function rhetorically; your joke should generate a laugh, your email should elicit a response, and your updated Facebook status should generate comments from your online friends.”

For me, the most common use of social media is Instagram. Although Instagram itself is not considered a digital genre, it has a digital genre within it. For example, the way one uses Instagram to communicate to their audience is solely through posting pictures. Typically, one would post a picture then

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Hashtags on Instagram

type a short caption underneath of it with the optional use of hashtags. Because this site is only used for pictures with captions, it creates its own digital genre that is different than other sites. Twitter, for instance, creates another digital genre within its site because when communicating with others, one is limited to how long their post is. Twitter only allows so many characters written per post for the reason to keep it short and to the point, which then generates another digital genre.

 

Always On

Always On

#Turkleontechnology #Socialrisks #constantconnection

People often assume the older you get, the more knowledge you gain. However, in the world of technology, I feel as though it is the opposite. Because children today are growing up with technology, they are becoming more advanced in using it than older generations. To older generations, new technology such as smart phones, tablets, and laptops are

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Constant Technology

challenging for them to use and figure out. Children of today’s world are growing up with technology and some even begin using it starting at the age of one. To them, technology is all they know so it is easy for them to adapt and learn. Our current technology creates a new way of living and will continue to advance in the future.

Sherry Turtle is the author of the book called Alone Together. Within this book, she discusses the different views of technology today and how others use it.

According to Turkle, “People love their new technologies of connection. They have made parents and children feel more secure and have revolutionized business, education, scholarship, and medicine.”

Personally, I agree with Turkle in the sense that technology today is convenient and makes getting in contact with others easier than ever. Turkle gave the example of reaching out to a friend, by text, to let them know she is thinking about them even if they do not have time to respond. This digital world allows people to communicate without having to dial the phone or write a letter.

On the other hand, Turkle raises the issue that too much technology usage could prevent us from taking chances or risking social skills.

She states “With sociable robots we are alone but receive the signals that tell us we are together. Networked, we are together, but so lessened are our expectations of each other that we feel utterly alone. And there is the risk that we come to see others as objects to be accessed– and only for the parts we find useful, comforting, and amusing. Once we remove ourselves from the flow of  physical, messy, untidy life– and both robotics and networked life to do that– we become less willing to get out there and take a chance.”

After reading this statement, it allowed me to think about my future as an educator and how technology will effect my classroom and students. Will technology become so advanced that students will lose all social skills? What if one day the physical classroom becomes extinct and it becomes a virtual classroom for children to be taught online? If we, as a society, become constantly connected to technology these are some problems or challenges we, as educators, might run into in the future.