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Red Riding Hood

Donna Leishman’s retellings of Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale was created in 2001. She is a media artist, designer, writer and researcher from Scotland. This was her first experiment in creating an interactive-narrative site. The original story of Little Red Riding Hood is a European fairy tale about a young girl and a wolf. It was first published by a French author called Charle Perrault in 1697. Since then there have been many changes in the story according to modern adaptations and readings across a number of different Medias.

leishman__redridinghood

Donna Leishman uses this famous classic fairy tale that gives the reader a clear idea of the storyline. This is a non-textual animated graphical comic book or a novel, a good example for an electronic literature. It requires reader’s interaction in order to tell the story. In some occasions the reader has to click on links to progress through the story. As the reader interacts though, the character develops and eventually the fairy tale unfolds. The story will not follow a liner pattern since the reader has to unfold it, pattern will vary according to the reader. The reader can browse over parts of the screen, too, and objects will respond by moving, such as flowers bloom when clicking on them. In these types of stories the most important goal is actually not reaching the end but rather the journey itself. Leishman does not want readers to solve puzzles but rather interact more meekly, for instance giving the reader the option of see what Red Riding Hood is dreaming on her way to grandmother’s place.  

Today most young children and also adults are familiar with the Little Red Riding Hood story, and therefore the reader understands the concept of the girl, the grandmother and the wolf. Even though Donna Leishman uses this classic fairy tale, she of course brings a modern twist to the story in some aspects. It is much of a darker story than the original story which many remembered. The author shows that from the starting point of the story. She has used font that has sharp edges for the title texts, that isn’t normal for a classic fairy tale. Many people argue that Red Riding Hood wears a red clock symbolizing, her becoming a woman and losing her virginity and the wolf as a man who is a lover or as a character that supposedly translates as a sexual predator. In Donna Leishman’s Red Riding Hood we can see that she really emphasized the wolf as a sexual predator, since Red Riding Hood ends up been pregnant. So Leishman instantly clears any doubt of sexual awakening references. The music played throughout the story is also helps to describe the mood of the story and it maintains the mysterious and the dark feeling.

 At the Red Riding Hood is lying on her grandmother’s bed with some knitting items at her feet and she wasn’t tied down or trying to leave as mentioned in the original story. Leishman also re-writes the ending in a different way. Instead of the woodcutter coming in to save her, he has a gun pointed to her head.

http://collection.eliterature.org/1/works/leishman__redridinghood.html

When going through the website www.sundayobserver.lk in order to analyze , I found there are some aspects that should be further improved compared to other websites of this nature and also there are some aspects that are appropriate and can be satisfied with them.

A website is generally a place where it contains many type of information, and it can include texts, colors, graphics, animations and also sounds. The main aspect of this www.sundayobserver.lk website is to share the latest information about the country and the important changes or information in the world with the public, since it is an online news paper. The most important part in a web site is the page layout and the presentation of content. It should provide the reader with important and true information in an exciting way at the first sight. As soon as visitors land on the website, they will make a decision to either click away or stick around. There is a expression also that says‘ make your website “sticky”. The best way to grab attention is to have a clear benefit offer for the visitor along with a clean, professional looking site that is easy to follow. This will encourage them to read and stick around.

In www.sundayobserver.lk “Sunday observer” website , this clean and clear part is not included. Someone who is visiting the website will feel lots of distractions. In this site since there are lots of graphical advertisements are incorporated in the top of the page and in the right side corner of the page as well, which I think will discourage the user since it distracts the attention. To motivate the user there should be visual impact of shape, color, contrast and also the pages should be graphically interesting. Therefore I suggest that, to have only the logo with the name and the country flag on the top of the page with the navigation bars, with a image representing the country or the culture as shown in the picture and to move the advertisements to the bottom of the page.

 

I also believe that this web site is lacking visual attraction. Rather than having lots of text in the articles, I would suggest that including some images in to the articles will describe the situation more effectively, and also it will encourage the readers. The color selection of the website is appropriate and with those colors (red, black and blue) it also represents the actual news paper. Among these things, one interesting aspect of this website is the small articles that are on the left corner of the page. These articles includes an  image with a small description, which catches the users attention.

When comes to navigation bars, it cover the main topics and it is very clear and easy to find the way. There are navigation bars in top of the page as well as at the bottom of the website. But a problem arises when the user visits another page, then the navigation bars will change the positions. It should not be the case in a user friendly website. When designing the website, navigation has not been given a proper thought. My idea is that the main navigation bars can be held on top of the page, where the other navigation bars such as “advertising” can be placed at the bottom of the page. I also find the importance of a search button, since there are lots of information on the page and with a search option the user could be able to find the information that is needed without any difficulty.

A main feature of a news website is the placement of important information first, with a decreasing importance as the article goes on, because many people expect to find important material early, and less important information later where interest decreases. The tone must aim toward being friendly and helpful without being overly casual (and never slangy); I believe that this site maintains this tone and the features at it’s best. The writing quality is also important when publishing news releases online. In this site I have noticed the use of professional writing style with a ability to capture and hold the attention and interest of the reader.

Can this website be improved? Yes, I believe that with having few changes in the site as I mentioned earlier , It can be improved in the future. It will get much more better and will be a user friendly and a more contemporary site with lots of readers.

 

No, Google is not making us stupid. What Google and the Web are doing is helping us to learn through a rapid exchange of ideas in a social setting. Google is, indeed, making us smarter as we re-discover new ways to learn. Any new information technology has both supports and critics. Thousands of years ago, when the new technology of writing was implemented the classical Greek philosopher Socrates complained that it “will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls because they will not use their memories”, same as now-a-days where people have the fear about Google, the new technology of today.

Saying that Google is making us stupid is like saying that discovering new information makes us stupid. Twenty years ago, if you wanted to know what a word meant, you had to look out in to the the big dictionary. If you started having some health issues, or if you want to check about the medicine that you got from the doctor you had to have a medical book to look up, or if you heard someone mention something about a lemur, and didn’t know what they looked like, you had to look out for a copy of an encyclopedia. Like wise there should be thousands of books that you should refer in order to get some information that you needed. Today Google merely reflects what we already did in the past, but in a more convenient manner. Now, rather than looking out a big book and flipping to the index to look up the keyword in order to find the pages relevant to your inquiry, we just type in our words to generate a similar list. Instead of only finding answers from the few books we might have in our own home, we find answers from millions of sources from all around the world. Access to the Internet’s information lets us think better and faster. By considering a wide range of information, we can arrive at more creative and informed solutions.

 

Carr believes that the reason for his problem is, the long years he has spent on the Internet. For a writer, researcher, and a blogger like him, the Net has been a blessing, he admits that by putting great volumes of information at his fingertips. But according to him, the blessing has also been a curse . “My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles,” he says. “Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.”According to Science, we’re not necessarily losing our ability to remember things as Carr believes. Rather, the internet is changing how we remember things.

Carr admits that we, as a culture, read a lot more because of the Web, but he also laments that “our ability to interpret text, to make the rich mental connections that form when we read deeply and without distraction, remains largely disengaged.” And he highlights a quote from an essay by the playwright Richard Foreman:

“I come from a tradition of Western culture, in which the ideal (my ideal) was the complex, dense, and ‘cathedral-like’ structure of the highly educated and articulate personality–a man or woman who carried inside themselves a personally constructed and unique version of the entire heritage of the West.[But now] I see within us all (myself included) there placement of complex inner density with a new kind of self–evolving under the pressure of information overload and the technology of the ‘instantly available.'”

There is no question that our habits are changing: The Web has captured our attention and is now the default starting point for almost all work. The Web is different in almost all aspects from a book. Printed books have contained the essential truths of humanity for half a millennium. The Web is where we look for knowledge that usually exists not in final, authoritative, single-author text blocks but in the aggregate of wisdom from many sites.

Carr sees only one side of the change we are going through, the loss of book habits. But, for us over our thousands of years of learning, the book is the anomaly, not the Web. The book led us to think that one person could write a permanent compilation of truth. Books lived on over the years, with a single voice, implying that knowledge is a thing or a commodity, creating the legal fiction that one person “owned” the ideas in a book as though the author had grown up in isolation from all other humans and all the ideas had sprung, fully-formed, from his or her brain.

Therefore as Socrates was wrong, when comes to the written world: Writing has improved our law, science, arts, culture, and our memory. When the history of our current age is written in future, it will say that Google has made us smarter both individually and collectively because we have ready and free access to information through Google.

 

 

Hello !!!

I will be using this blog to share the assignments of my course Language Studies II, in my bachelor studies in Digital Culture and Communication.

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