Fuzzy Writing

Via Kairos News comes a link for something called fuzzmail. Here’s my lame little test of this app.

It’s kind of a cute little thing, the kind of thing that looks like it came out of a class on working with javascript, though it isn’t quite what I was expecting. Still, it might be kind of cool to show in my 328 class for a couple of reasons. First, this is kind of a very mini/junior version of the sort of usability software tools, the things that tech writers and psychologists and computer geeks use to study in depth the kinds of things that people do when they actually “use” web sites. Though what disappoints me a bit is that this is a very mini/junior version of that.

Second, it does potentially fit in with the project(s) we’ll be doing in that class regarding “visual” rhetoric. We’re going to read McCloud’s Understanding Comics and at least one or two essays from Handa’s collection on visual rhetoric, and we’re going to do at least one assignment– possibly two– in which playing around with this site might make sense. We’re going to do something (you can see how well planned this all is in my head!) that makes some kind of connection between images and words ala McCloud. But I’ve been thinking lately of making the last assignment in the class (at least in the “face-to-face” class, where I know I have access to some quasi-decent software in our computer lab and much better hardware/software at other places on campus).

See, I’ve been interested lately in learning for myself how to use Flash, iMovie, and other “moving pictures” sorts of technologies, I guess because I’m impressed with presentations like this one, “Identity 2.0” or the fabulous one that Lawrence Lessig did at the 2005 CCCCs. Neither one of these examples (and I’m sure there are many others) are using exactly rocket science technology (jeez, these two examples are basically PowerPoint), both of these presentations required the speakers to actually write something out ahead of time because you can’t just “wing it” (as so often is the case with conventional PowerPoint presentations) when you have a whole bunch of slides like these examples, and I think that these presentations are pretty effective. And really, beyond my students doing these projects, I’m interested in learning more about doing these kinds of things myself because I think it would enhance the online teaching experience.

But I digress. In the short-term, fuzzmail is kinda cute.

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