Week 13: Lecture

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  • Beginning of Class Writing
    • Click on the heading of this blog post title above–“Week 13: Lecture,” scroll down to the comment area, and write at least 250 words in response to this week’s readings. You can summarize the readings, you can relate the readings to your own experience or something else you have read or learned about, etc. Any writing of 250 words or more that are related to the readings are fair game for this weekly assignment at the beginning of class.
    • Post your comment after 20 minutes even if you don’t reach the 250 word minimum threshold.
    • Why we are doing this: It helps you organize your thoughts before discussion and it gives you regular writing practice.
  • Field Trip to the City Tech Science Fiction Collection.
  • Continue the Final Team Project.
    • Primary deliverables are the collaboratively written report and in-class presentation with slidedeck.
    • Bonus points for creating a mock up of your website using GitHub or OpenLab/Wordpress (create as a Project).
  • Preparation for next week: Learn about the City Tech Science Fiction Collection. We will have a field trip there to talk about its information architechture–how the items are arranged, how we use a finding aid to locate materials, etc.
  • Review homework and readings for next week. If you are behind on homework assignments or weekly writing assignments, get them done as soon as possible and let Prof. Ellis know what assignments you’ve caught up on via email.

8 thoughts on “Week 13: Lecture”

  1. Week 13 Readings

    The first reading focuses on textual curation as a conceptualization of authorship. Kennedy explains how large and abundant structures of information are based on a series of arrangements. Kennedy wants students to make “the world turn” with visual analysis. The visual analysis is designed by web pages. Writing in digital contexts have been a huge part of society in todays age. Technology is now the key for all data. Information Architects use navigational elements such as “meta data” to filter information. Information architecture skills are vital to create a well organized network of information. Information architecture is a skilled craft. 

    The second reading focuses on the uncertainty in Information architecture. Kalbach explains the uncertainty as a concept such as decision making, ethics, risk, business, and physics. Kalbach talks about the concept of “information entropy.” The presentation of information reduced uncertainty. He revealed the more information a person receives, the lower their uncertainty is. Complex searches are associated with uncertainty. 

    In times, users feel most uncertainty when they have trouble finding the information they are looking for. The websites that have un structured information are the websites known to cause a great deal of uncertainty. I have gone on a website where the information I was looking for was lacking, and nowhere to be found. 

    These two readings helped justify why the design and structure of websites is a crucial aspect to users. Websites are the key to gaining knowledge in today’s technological world. Information architecture is extremely important. 

  2. To: Professor Ellis

    From: Tiana Beatty

    Date: May 8, 2023


    This week’s readings were about textual curation. I have personally have never heard of this term and was surprised that this was something I had been doing my entire college academic career. This comes from writing multiple types and forms that were assigned by my professors currently and in the past. But knowing that it could be applied to information architecture seems to me to be a different form of discipline compared to college or university writing.

    Textual Curation

    It seems like the textual curation is collaborative writing and that writing is what is used when designing and creating a site or rather putting context and information on said site. This article explains the necessity of both teaching textual curation for students in the classroom and the complications an information architect has in the workplace. Learning a discipline can be a difficult thing to learn for the simple fact that there are lots of rules and techniques needed to be learned to make sure that this new discipline is applied correctly. I like that Krista Kennedy is saying that she’s implementing this kind of writing in her classroom and that textual curation is recognizable.

    Textual curation is most recognizable in university or college writing. Whenever a professor assigns a specific type of essay, would that be considered a form of textual curation? The reason I ask this is because depending on the professor and class there can be many rough drafts and edits put into the essay. There are many different subjects and requirements for the different types of essays and subjects provided. Then if need be, we publish or post it on our Blackboard site, OpenLab site, or email it to the professor directly. The point is that the writing is being turned in through the web.

    An example of textual curation that was provided in the article was Wikipedia. Wikipedia is one of the most used websites online when it comes to common or structured information and research. But because Wikipedia is constantly edited because of the many collaborative writers on that site, some professors and teachers would tell their students to not use Wikipedia as a primary source. But the fact that Wikipedia is widely known and that their information is accessible and it can be easily changed because more or less information is added and removed. I find this interesting.

  3. TO: Prof. Ellis 

    FROM: Khaled Akam 

    DATE: May 8, 2023 

    SUBJECT: Uncertain Curation  

    If working on large documents, the arrangement of information is the most important aspect. Most workers collaborate on such large documents, thus making it hard to develop the structure of such work. Especially when the information being arranged is written. An individual’s written text is less important than the whole organizational aspect of the document. Curator, a word that was once used to fulfill its role, has been deterred in recent years. Its role in the textual field should be collaboratively collecting information and managing the data in a structure of taxonomies. Paying attention to the key arrangements of where information is to supply better information to the users. Wikipedia is edited by many, but 2 percent may handle a large portion of the work that is presented. 

    Uncertainty is a broad term but for information architecture, it’s effective for individuals to seek more information. People always want to know what they do not understand. A user should have confidence and know how to navigate information on a website. When uncertainty comes into play, it’s most likely because of the design on the site. Information scent is the notion of “how well links and navigation options match a visitors information need”(Kalbach, 2009). The first thing that the user sees is important. Many aspects of the site design play a part in the user’s experience. Such as trigger words and the positioning of headings or text on a website. An information architect is responsible for knowing where to place information. 

  4. TO: Prof. Ellis

    FROM: Khemraj Persaud

    DATE: 5/8/23

    SUBJECT: Weekly Reading Assignment

    For this week’s reading, we dove into the workings of Krista Kennedy in “Textual Curation” and James Kalbach in “On Uncertainty in Information Architecture.” Kennedy’s article was interesting. It touched on how curation is much more than just collecting and aggregating, but how it is a complex skillset that requires organization of taxonomies, metadata, and other types of digital information. The evolution of information on the internet, Wikipedia in particular, has allowed communities to develop devoted to the correct information being available and verified. It is important to use “all the resources of a full range of media” when considering accessing information. Textual curation must be considered in everyday interactions with the internet.

    Kalbach discusses uncertainty and how it is related to information architecture. He noted that when someone is looking for information, it can often be an emotional experience. Not only emotional, but most of the time it can be a negative experience. It’s the role of an information architect to mitigate these experiences. It can also be difficult to find what you’re looking for, especially in the beginning. He touched on concepts including breadth vs. depth and information scent. There are also instances where uncertainty can lead to positive feelings and outcomes, so it’s important to take these possibilities into consideration.

    Reading these articles has made me think differently about information. Information and data are truly complex entities that are forever changing. Anyone who works with it needs to understand this and have a dynamic approach to how they tackle whatever may come.

  5. To:                         Professor Ellis

    From:                   Sandy Fougeres

    Date:                    5/8/23

    Subject:               Weekly Readings


    In the article, Textural Curation, by Krista Kennedy, she discusses how to use text curation to have a form of authorship within a collaborative information structure.  She elaborates on the importance of understanding digital mediums and learning how to create and write effectively for online platforms. The article also talks about the concern with recognizing essayistic writing in these digital mediums, the need for digital literacy in the classrooms, and specifically how to get students to develop functional websites beyond simple text and visuals.

    I found this article informative because it talks about how the in these digital environments the focus is now on the organization of the total network and less on the writing; that writing online is more about functionality, findability, and information structures. As a technical writing student, I could see the relationship between writing and technology and the importance of utilizing technology to create effective or persuasive messaging. I have experience now with writing with new media and I am aware of the difficulties. I am interested to see this development in the next few years. Another interesting part in the article is the emphasis on becoming familiar with the labor of curating digitally, that it will involve project management, information gathering and filtering, strategic links, metadata management, and basic site architecture. As a student, when working on a project I find myself relying on these important principles,this has helped my writing be much more effective and I’ve seen growth in my work.

  6. The first article was about “Textual Curation” with regards to the authorship and composition within large information structures based upon arrangement. A sentence that I hear in many forms approached me in this document once again, oftentimes it is not how much you write but the impact the writing has. A mentor told Krista Kennedy that they want to teach students how to write small texts but make the world turn. The deliverable should help/encourage the writer and reader to realize the full potential of digital environments. The form of teaching has changed, as discussed in class as technology advances so should you. Nowadays, many teachers utilize blogs, tweets, screencasting, podcasts, and video development. Earlier in the semester during Week 5 we discussed ontology which is the way you organize/structure something. I believe this can be crucial especially as an educator. The focus is now on the larger group of networks instead of the individuals. A term I came across – one for my notes was dialogic collaboration which is loosely structured, fluid collaborative practice where one can have multiple roles as the project continues. 

    Text curation is fundamentally different when it is examined in the realms of socially acceptable knowledge rather than a controlled environment. Some pedagogical implications include developing critical attention to its curational aspects for facilitation of rhetorical performance and all resources of full range media should be used. 

    The second article discussed the uncertainty in the Informational Architecture field. IT is important to see where the concepts are lacking and how to make a deliverable more impactful for the readers and get what the writer wants across to the targeted audience.

  7. “Textual Curation” by Krista Kennedy discusses the practice of textual curation in the classroom. Textual curation is a form of authorship and composition within a large information involves arranging prior texts while developing small invisible elements. These small invisible elements are architecture, metadata, and links. Kennedy argues that textual curation can help students develop critical thinking skills by engaging with complex text. She also places an emphasis on the importance of ethical considerations such as obtaining permissions and ensuring diversity perspectives.

    The article “ On Uncertainty in Information Architecture” by James Kalbach discusses the importance of uncertainty in the field of information architecture.The notion of uncertainty dates back to Shannon and weaver. In the reading Kalbach defines uncertainty as a natural part of the design process. He argues that it must be embraced rather than avoided to create successful information architectures.If architects avoid uncertainty the information architecture will not be successful. Kolbach also places an emphasis on ethical considerations such as privacy and accessibility.

  8. TO: Professor Jason W. Ellis

    FROM: Ronald C. Hinds

    DATE: May 08. 2023

    SUBJECT: Curation and Information Architecture, IA

    Curation is writing in small and largely invisible texts from the writer to the audience. Curation is the process of finding relevant content from external sources and sharing it with one’s audience. Writing in small effective ways is good as long as it is done with essayistic writing. Essayistic writing is the overlap between essayistic and novelistic writing.

    The technical communicator can be perceived as being largely invisible to the user or audience. The technical editor is, believe you me, more invisible to the user. Both of these are aware of their respective role vis a vis the audience. Krista Kendall tells us of the craft of textual curation and tells us that the craft is “largely unnoticeable when done well”. I like the quotation of Johnson-Eilola who, in 2005, writes that creativity is no longer the production of original texts, but “the ability to gather, rearrange, and construct new texts”.

    Our decision-making processes are informed by certainty. Uncertainty can hinder our effectiveness in explaining information to our audience. Introducing of new information can increase our uncertainty. The objectivity of a task rather than the perception of complexity can cause feelings of uncertainty.

    At times we can be uncertain when navigating a website. This is understandable. When designing a system of navigation Information Architects, IAs, can use labels to help reduce uncertainty. We can use tools like labels to reduce potential uncertainty. Labels can be a part of branding which enable product identification. Labels carry information. When we refer to HTML, the <label> tag is used to create labels for items in a user interface.

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