Brainstorming

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Brainstorming is an essential step in the preparation of any project.

Whether you are writing a blog post, making a podcast, or filming a video, before you start, you must brainstorm.  Brainstorming  is  planning and generating ideas. As simple as that sounds, it is essential in developing good work. Before you can turn on the camera, you have to know what you want to film, what you want your audience to gain by your film, and how you are going to achieve this. Anything that is considered a great piece of work requires immense preparation. Brainstorming is the first step in this preparation.

Brainstorming Techniques: 

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Sticky Notes are a helpful brainstorming technique because it allows individuals to easily add and take away from their lists.

Sticky Notes-  Write down anything and everything that comes to mind. You can use sticky notes and post them around your workplace, home, or anywhere else you will see them. Seeing your notes regularly will spark new ideas as well as allow you to easily get rid of the ideas that will no longer work.

Lists– Write lists of everything you want to accomplish through your work and everything that relates to it. By writing what you want to accomplish you can figure out how to achieve it, and writing what relates to your topic will spark new ideas.

Phone– When you are in the car, on the treadmill, or walking around the mall and a new idea sparks use the notes section of your phone or send a text to yourself to remind yourself of this idea. When you are not thinking about or stressing over coming up with ideas, usually the best ideas spark. Our phones allow us to keep these ideas for safe keeping until we are able to look back on them later. This method is helpful because it does not require you to carry around a pen or paper.

Brainstorming is extremely helpful when you do not  know what to write about, because it allows individuals to dig deep and truly think. Brainstorming also helps filter information when you have too much to say. Brainstorming allows one to step back and decide what is truly important.

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What are the most popular Fad Diets?

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Nutrisystem, Atkins diet, and gluten free diets are some of the most popular fad diets, but they do not result in healthy, long term weight loss.

 

Fad diets, as we all know, have been around for centuries. However, it seems they become more and more popular each year, especially at the beginning of the year when New Year’s resolutions to loose weight are still on everyone’s mind. The following, are among the most popular fad diets.

The Atkins Diet

A typical meal on the Atkins diet focuses on protein and limits carbohydrates.

 

The Atkins diet is a plan that limits carbohydrates and focuses on protein and fat. Dieters on this plan begin with only 20 grams of carbohydrates a day and then slowly increase the amount each week.  On the Atkins diet you do not have to worry about portion control. Many believe that this helps people stick with the diet longer. However, the Atkins program does not allow for a well balanced diet and leaves  many individuals dehydrated due to the lack of carbohydrates.

Nutrisystem

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On Nutrisystem, a variety of prepackaged meals are provided to dieters.

Nutrisystem is a weight loss program that requires individuals to buy pre-made meals. The meals are individualized  based on weight, sex, and age. The main focus of this program is portion control. The meals are already prepared by the time you get them. Individuals are not tempted to eat more, simply because they do not have more. The typical cycle for Nutrisystem is 28 days, meaning one cannot eat on the system forever. Although Nutrisystem can help people understand portion control, this program is costly and cannot be used for long term weight loss.

Gluten Free

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A typical meal for dieters on gluten free diets relies heavily on fruits and vegetables.

Gluten free diets seem to be the new craze within the dieting world. These diets are important for individuals dealing with Celiacs disease or a gluten intolerance, but this only affects about 1% of the population. Now, people are using this diet as a way to loose weight.  Gluten is a protein source found in wheat, barley, and rye and is important to have as a part of a well balanced diet. Gluten is not bad for you, and removing it from your diet will not lead to healthy, long term weight loss.

It is important to take into account that no diet that makes its dieters give up specific food groups is going to last. Although they may result in short term weight loss, only healthy lifestyle changes will result in long term success. In my next post, I will introduce some of these lifestyle changes.

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Image Credits: Nutrisystem Photo, Atkins Photo, Gluten Free Photo

Aesthetics in Digital Media

Aesthetics can be defined as the philosophical study of beauty and taste. Aesthetics  is arguably the most important concepts when it comes to the visual aspects of digital media. This one aspect decides whether or not  someone will be drawn in to look closer at a piece of work, or if they quickly move on to something more appealing.

 

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

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Every individual has a different opinion on the beauty of this painting, based on the individual’s definition of beauty.

Beauty is a concept that is present in all aspects of society. Whether I am discussing fad diets and their popularity with young women or digital media and advertising, beauty is an important factor.  In digital media we view the “beauty” of an image, format, or blog through the idea of aesthetics. How visually appealing something is contributes to its overall beauty. However, beauty is individualized, no person views it the same.

Taste is in the eye of Experience

The concept of taste is a broader idea. Taste is not an individualized interpretation, taste is developed through experiences and culture. Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright explained in Practices of Looking, An Introduction to Visual Culture, that taste can be shaped through their aspects of identity including class, education, and culture.  Having “good” or “bad” taste can be indicators of a person’s societal class and education levels.

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Chainsaw Suit shows that companies continuously stress the importance of taste when it comes to advertisements or news stories.

Many Companies spend both time and labor making sure that their advertisements are seen as tasteful. In 2013 Pinterest launched advertisements on their popular site that allows people to pin whatever they like online to their numerous, individualized “boards.” One of the main focuses Pinterest  had during this campaigns was to ensure their users that the advertisements found on their site can be seen as tasteful, or as they put it no “flashy banner ads  or pop-up ads.”

Aesthetics is an important part in digital communication.  It contributes to the overall quality of a piece of digital media. When deciding on an advertisement campaign it is important for firms and individuals to consider the tastes of their intended audience and develop something that can be seen as beautiful to a wide range of people. In the aesthetics of digital media, one has to be general enough to relate to a variety of people, but specific enough to fully engage these people.

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