Thursday, October 18, 2007

Group J: Federico (e-tivity two)

After searching the word “gospel” with the Technorati engine, I was submerged by a long list of different blogs, but one called my attention in particular. It is named “Total Praise” ( ), which is the title of one of the most famous gospel songs of our time (written by Richard Smallwood) and is also one of my favourite songs. It is a Christian blog, updated very often with gospel music lyrics, news, devotionals, videos and audio files. As I’m very keen on this kind of music and culture, I’ve found the blog very interesting, but someone who is not into this topic may not appreciate it as I do. Anyway, I think that it is well organised because you can choose the different posts by clicking not only on the date and title as usual, but also on a long list of artists and topics which make your search very easy and clear. The language is simple and not very formal. I noticed that the majority of the posts are very short and concise: usually just one or two sentences to introduce topics, videos and audio files. When the posts contain news or prayers, on the other hand, they are much longer and sometimes people add comments to them, in order to pray, share feelings and exchange different opinions in very polite discussions. In my opinion, the netiquette is fully respected. One thing that I noticed in particular is that when you look at the comments on inspirational posts, people tend to write as if they were praising during a religious service, shouting through capital letters and giving short sentences, as if it was an oral response to the main message. I found this quite interesting in a blog.

Then I tried to search the word “musicals” and I found two good blogs, which are very similar in topic and organization. The first one is “Everything I Know I Learned from Musicals” ( ), the blog of Chris Caggiano from Boston, a musical theatre teacher. He posts every kind of information about musicals of the past and the most recent releases, giving personal comments and guiding the reader through the huge world of musical theatre. There are many links to different websites and blogs about musicals, even if I think he alone provides effective posts full of details. His style is brilliant and quite formal. He uses a lot of pictures and tend to emphasize central words and names by writing them in red. I’ve noticed that many posts have been commented by people, in order to reply in accordance or not to his reflections.
The second blog is “All about musicals” ( ). As I wrote before, it is very similar to the previous one, but I noticed that here the links are organized quite differently. You can read posts by clicking on archives and links to other blogs and websites and you can find long lists of actors, prizes and titles, which may be very useful if your search is focused on precise information about a specific person or show. Moreover, in this last blog you can find many videos taken from several musicals, abstracts from newspapers and you can also be aware of what is going on in the theatres of London, Broadway and the USA tours. Everything is more informal here than in Caggiano’s blog. He tends to give a more professional sight of the topic, whereas Julia Temlyn (the writer of the second blog) wants to convey all her passion and admiration for this kind of theatre.

Finally, some observations are: the name of the blog has to attract the reader’s attention, and the layout needs to be appealing but not too sophisticated. The language depends on the writer and his purposes: it may be quite formal for professional comments and technical details or informal if the writers decides to put more of themselves in their posts. The links are very useful, but they need accurate organization, since they cannot be confusing, but powerful tools to guide the reader through the posts and to the information he is looking for. Otherwise, after some time the blog may become boring and useless. I write this because I looked mainly for “informational” blogs rather than personal diary-type blogs, which are different because they can be more free in language and organization, in my opinion.


Giovanna S. said...

Hi Federico!

The blogs you suggested us in your post are very interesting because they regard non-conventional topics: gospel and musicals. I don’t know gospel music very well and I have to thank you because I could get more information about this subject. I love music, and even though I usually prefer rock, folk and indie, I also like listening to different genres. As regards the other blogs, I enjoyed reading about musicals, because this is another topic in which I am not experienced! However, I confess that I don’t like musical very much, but I like going to the cinema or to the theatre.

Your post about e-tivity 2 is well-written and structured. You wrote a long comment regarding style and structure for each blog you selected, and at the end you pointed out your observations, which are concise and relevant. By reading your post, I could understand immediately the content, the style and the layout of the blogs you suggested.

I like the first blog because it regards a music genre which I don’t know very well. As you emphasized in your post, the style and the structure are quite simple and informal, so the blog proves to be interesting and not boring. The posts can be easily selected by clicking on the links put in some lists, such as ‘Categories’ or ‘Recently posted’. Moreover, the author of the blog writes many links –but not hyperlinks- in the posts, so you can get further information by clicking on them and connecting with other websites, and at the end of each post you can also find tags. My attention was drawn by different things: the welcome message, which is taken by the Bible, the blogger’s enthusiastic tone, and many images which introduce the posts.

Even though the two blogs concerning musicals are different, as they are written according to different points of view, I like them both. In particular, I like the first one because it gives a professional point of view -sometimes through sarcasm- and I like the second one because it gives a point of view which is more informal, though professional. Both the blogs are clearly structured and very interesting, as you pointed out in your post. In the first blog I appreciated that the author suggests some websites, puts their links, and briefly comments them. I also like the section ‘Musicals you should see’. In the second blog I appreciated that the author concentrates not only on musicals, but also on actors, theatre etiquette, and films. Both the bloggers use a large number of pictures, links and tags, which make the blogs interesting and easy to read.

I hope you will appreciate my comment,

See you soon!

Giovanna S.

fred said...

Hey Giovanna, you wrote such a long comment to my post! Thank you sooo much! I really loved reading it and I can assure I appreciated a lot! Thank you again! See you soon. Federico.