Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"Nerd Herd" - Section 004, Group 2

Shark Attack Awareness
When starting out creating this blog, our group had kind of a hard time figuring out how to manage the site and use the different tools. After a while we finally figured out how to make it unique and easy to follow. The subject of our blog is Shark Attack Awareness. We wanted to inform our readers about ways to protect themselves when swimming in an ocean to avoid being a victim of an attack. We also added information about shark attack statistics, species of sharks, and how to defend and/or prevent yourself from an attack. There are also websites that link our readers to videos of real victims from shark attacks that hopefully is enough of a warning. We organized our blog by putting tabs at the top of the names of the contributors to the blog, a home page and an about tab to give a short summary of what the whole blog is going to be about. By having others read our blog, we are hoping that it would influence them to create their own just for fun or also to be informative about something they are passionate about.

Group Members:
Teddy, Justine, Connor, Chrissy, Leah

Instructor Feedback - Student Feedback
I like the way you're link-exchange and request for feedback paragraphs describe the goals and purpose of the blog.  You describe the layout, and then you differentiate your own thoughts on sharks from the "Hollywood Image" of bloodthirsty killers.  This provides very helpful context for first-time visitors, and then the About page provides a good overview regarding the scope of the blog, and I found that you all did a good job combining general research to support the story of this specific attack.

In looking through your tabs, I was struck by how effective it was to combine the Obituary with the research on How to Defend Yourself from a Shark under Leah's tab.  I also really like the way the research in this tab gave bullet points for the important considerations.  This very clearly linked the idea of "you might die if you don't do this!" with the tips on how to avoid being eaten by a shark.  Although it might require rearranging the research articles under the tabs, you may want to match up specific research articles (e.g. "The Victims") with closely related aspects of the Harrisons' story ("The Medical Report").  Also, consider how first-time visitors will decide which tabs to visit.  Is it better to have the tab names match the names of the authors, or would it be easier to navigate if visitors could see the topics at a glance?  Also, consider the effect of not only your statistics, but the way they're presented.  How do the statistics for shark attacks compare to other live-threatening situations (such as car accidents)?

Also, I find Johnny Harrison's tale of revenge interesting.  How believable do you find this story?  Would there be ways to make Johnny's story more realistic?  Or would it make sense maybe to adapt it for another purpose?

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