My entrée into the world of type design and font creation

This week, I began working through preparations for my Autumn semester classes, one of which is Typography.  I’m very excited to teach this course, as I haven’t done it in white a while… though it’s also a bit nerve wracking because I feel a bit rusty on all the technicals.

One project that I will work on this coming term is the creation of a custom font.  I’m still working through all of the details, and I welcome any suggestions you might have for implementing such a project.  I believe that this project (and several accompanying projects) will help students develop a serious, hands-on grasp of not only type as an art form, but type as a technical process as well. Continue reading

Ongoing Research

The Color-Timer Method: Exploring the Use of a Visual Timekeeping Application in Introductory Public Speaking Classes

I have developed and am testing a new, color-based timing device for use in public speaking classrooms. My co-investigators and I conducted an exploratory study to evaluate the effectiveness of the tool as a means of reducing public speaking anxiety, improving student performance, and improving time management during formal speeches. The study was conducted at a small nursing college in Ohio where student participants (n=106) used the color-timer during a speech and then completed a short opinion survey. Broadly, students found the timer to be reasonably accurate, not distracting, and more helpful than harmful with regard to anxiety and performance. Practical implications for using the color-timer are outlined. Additionally, directions for future, more controlled, empirical research are presented, along with recommendations for improvements to the color-timer tool. The authors conclude that the color-timer application is a viable option for public speaking instructors, and is expected to be well-received by students.

Click here to read more about the color timer, including instructions, teaching tips, and more.

SAGE Encyclopedia of the Internet – Published This Week

I am honored to have had the opportunity to publish two entries in the recently published SAGE Encyclopedia of the Internet.  The work is a comprehensive survey of many different internet-related topics, from the highly technical, to the theoretical and social.  Editor Barney Warf has done a wonderful job soliciting entries from experts around the world.

The Encyclopedia is available in hard copy format from SAGE, and is also available online through SAGE Knowledge.

The abstracts and links for my two entries are as follows:

Internet Slang: Internet slang, like its counterparts in the spoken and written forms, is a mode of communication that typically consists of shortened words or phrases, neologisms (new words), abbreviations or initialisms, and paralinguistic or paraverbal markers. In the online space, netspeak (as Internet slang is sometimes called) allows the user to take shortcuts, save time, and communicate more efficiently. This efficiency is important for online media in which space is limited or input devices, such as mobile phones, prohibit the typing of lengthy messages. The use of Internet slang can also be considered a form of codeswitching, a sociolinguistic practice that helps users establish social groups in both inclusive and exclusive ways. This entry discusses the role that Internet slang plays in social communication.  Read more…

Net Neutrality: Net neutrality is a movement within the technology community that seeks to establish and preserve fair and open network accessibility for all end users, content providers, and technology protocols. It is the idea that the Internet—comprising many protocols such as hypertext transfer protocol, File Transfer Protocol, email (Internet Message Access Protocol, Post Office Protocol, Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), and many others—should be equally accessible for all users. Furthermore, it is the idea that all publishers (e.g., websites, bloggers, social media sites) and networked services (e.g., Netflix, Spotify, Hulu) should be equally available to all paying customers. More basically, perhaps, many see net neutrality as the fundamental principle of a networked society. It is the ability for everyone to communicate freely online with whomever, through whichever … Read more…