Let’s Get Digital (A6)

I literally can’t remember the last time I went an entire day without checking Facebook 903248209348230 times.


Or twitter.


iphone-big1Or instagram.


Or Vine.

I don’t think of checking these things as anything less than checking my voicemail or text messages.  At this point, FB, Insta, and Twitter have become just alternate forms of communication that people could be using to contact me… at any time…of the day…any day of the week.

Like, let’s be real. Checking Facebook is just something you do.

After reading Ch. 1 in Briggs about the “digital world”… a recent incident came to mind, and I had a sort of “epiphany” of sorts.

1. I recently ran into a girl I had Spanish class with last semester in the bathroom of Hankamer Business School.

  We chatted for a brief second, asking all of the basic questions one asks when they encounter someone they don’t really know, but it’s like…you recognize each other and it’s awkward if you don’t make convo… etc.

Anyways, I said, “Well, hey we should totally get lunch sometime and catch up.  That would be fun.” <– to which she replied, “Yeah that sounds great.”

“Sweet!” I replied, “I’ll add you on Facebook and message you my info.”

“I’m not on Facebook,” she said, “But, here, let me give you my number.”

I grabbed a pen and wrote down her digits. But, I remember my mind screaming, “Who ISN’T ON FACBEOOK? AND WHY NOT!?”

After reading this chapter, I think I sort of know the answer. But, I don’t like it.

Answer: Because some people want to remain traditional. They want to maintain a semblance of privacy and inaccessibility in their lives.  And, honestly, this makes sense to me.  But, at the same time, it renders you irrelevant to a significant degree because pretty much everyone else is jumping on the digital craze bandwagon– including employers, educators, educational institutions, world leaders, and, most relevant to the discussion of this chapter, news media outlets.

2. As a journalist, I feel as though learning to navigate the Internet, knowing how to create digital text, audio, photo, and video files, registering domain names, maximizing an RSS feed reader, designing and personalizing web pages, and working with HTML is hyper imperative because it is the LANGUAGE of today. It is a business’s identity, a world leader’s identity–OUR own identity.

The interconnectedness that is enabled by being savvy to these basic functions of digital technology is basically limitless.

And, in my opinion, this constant accessibility of all people in all places around the world allows for collaborative innovation like we’ve never been able to see it in times past.


My two questions regarding the content of the chapter are the following:

1. Are there ever cases in which HTML coding will vary depending on which Web source you are writing it for?

For example, if I am coding for Facebook, would my coding for Facebook be transferable to Blogspot or would I have to readjust or amend my HTML coding to coincide with the latter site? In other words…is it universally applicable?

2. What are the best ways to go about screening a potential addition to your RSS reader in order to prevent getting redundant with your subscription choices?

Overall, this chapter–with its focus on technology “hot topics”– made me realize the important role that technology plays in my life on a daily basis, and how NOT allowing technology to exist in your life to an appropriate degree will eventually lead you to being left in the dark!

And we can’t have that now, can we?



PANDAS. (WA1 (2))

Like, let’s go back to being an 8-year-old.

Now let’s make a list of things we remember caring about at that time in our lives (lists may vary…but, let’s be honest, probably not much).

  • My barbie collection
  • My barbie jeep
  • My barbie dreamhouse
  • Lucky Charms cereal
  • Tormenting my younger brother
  • Playing dress up
  • Not getting a “color change” in school for bad behavior…I would say that about covered it for me. What about you?

    At least, that’s what I cared about until one day– one day when everything in my world drastically changed– the day my journey with PANDAS began.

    While everyone else my age carried on with their dolls, tonka toys,  and educations, I was down and out with an autoimmune disorder that stole five years of my childhood, yet provided me perspective for a lifetime.


    I was diagnosed with PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections) in 1999.

    PANDAS entails a rapid onset of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) caused by group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal infections (GABHS).

    In other words, my body showed no symptoms of a strep infection, when I did contract strep.

    Eventually, an autoimmune reaction ensued as my body attacked itself, producing antibodies that interfered with the basal ganglia function of my brain.

    Scary STUFF.

    Not to mention, doctors were very unfamiliar with PANDAS back then and I ended up bouncing around from hospital to hospital, state-to-state, and doctor-to-doctor, before it was finally determined that my condition was this rare autoimmune disorder.

    Now, let’s jump back to adulthood.  At 21, I often times feel that I intentionally suppress the memories that accompanied this particular period of my life…

    I mean who wants to dwell on something they remember as totally traumatic or devastating moment in their life? 

    I guess, in a way, it makes sense that we fear remembering the horrible feelings felt during those moments in our lives. 

    But, surprisingly I find that in recalling this time of my life now, I seem to only be able to remember the good things.

    Sometimes…I just feel like we need to let ourselves be human.  It’s raw. It’s powerful. And it’s what we are.

    Watch the video below on Susan Swedo and the NIMH research protocol for PANDAS that I took part in during the time of my illness.

Music & Fingerprints (A4)

My first and last love is music.  What kind? Any kind. But, the type that most moves my heart, my absolute favorite, is jazz/soul.  What I love even more than music itself is making music…writing…recording…producing…just living within the realm of its power is enough to satisfy me for the rest of my life.  Music is art– and I consider myself an artist.  This is why I respect and admire all people who create music–it is an extension of one’s self and one’s own reality.  How cool is that?  A song is like a fingerprint. No one will ever produce one exactly the same as someone else.

Bloggalicious, Definition? (A3)

Connection 1: This reading had me reflecting on an assignment I had to complete in my Intro to Reporting and Writing class (JOU 2320) during my freshman year of college at Baylor.  Dr. Moody had us involve and apply the exact same elements for success described by Briggs in our special-focus blogs: frequent posts, concise/user friendly text content, visuals, fonts and colors, links, an appropriate template.  My blog, for instance, was an entertainment blog, and I tailored all of its components to complement one another in establishing a sense of visual/contextual continuity. The assignment is something I later used in a professional setting…which leads me to connection #2…

Connection 2: More specifically, I connected with Briggs description: “the blog-publishing platform improves interactivity between journalists and their audience.”  When I was working as a freelance entertainment columnist for The St. Bernard Parish Post in Chalmette, LA, I was tasked with creating my own blog to supplement my weekly column and I absolutely saw this concept play out quite true to form in a real-life setting.  As I posted weekly posts to accompany my articles in the paper, I would receive comments and emails pertaining to my articles in the paper on blog posts– achieving my duty as an online journalist by “starting a conversation.”  There is something so freeing about having the ability to be in FULL control of your writing/style/publishing, as Briggs describes in Chapter 2.  This left me wondering: Will blogs ever be THE go-to medium for information? Or at least be considered a credible source as time goes on?  Especially since many blogs, as Briggs mentions, link to scholarly/expert sources on their topics…

The second question I pondered after this reading was: How do you compete in the blog world when there are SO many blogs, of varying caliber, focused on the same topics?  The reading discussed how to effectively build a blog, all of the necessary aspects of a blog, how to build an audience, but did not really discuss methods of competing in the online world.

The Wheels of Perception Go Round and Round…(WA1)

What if I had grown up with the belief that I could one day literally change the way I perceived myself? How would it have changed me in college?


If I HAD grown up with the capability of being able to foreshadow the events in my life that would change the way I perceive myself, that change would never have occurred.

Knowing things ahead of time always allows you a period of time to brace yourself for the impact of what is to come.  I would honestly rather not know and then crash into it with full force.  The anticipation of knowing I could change my perspective of myself would surely have hindered that change from actually taking place in my life.

Instead, I am glad that I grew up blindly accepting my fate, as the results of my experiences and consequences of my choices shaped and molded me along the way.

I feel as though I would never have been as receptive to information or dared to do half of the things I have accomplished in college if I grew up knowing I could change my own perspective.  I allowed myself the full freedom to think, question, contemplate, collaborate, and create during college–And, in doing so, my perspective gradually changed right under my feet and I didn’t even fully realize it until I reflected on it while writing this post.

I walked into Baylor a freshman and am about to exit as a self-assured young woman with immense internal and external perspective…which will surely only continue to change and grow,–as it should.


If I Do Say So Myself (A2)

If I had to define myself without using “what I do” as the focus of the working definition…It would be a super long definition.

Like, way too much for Merriam-Webster to handle.

I would define myself as bold and determined.  Once I set my mind to something, it will  get accomplished.  I would define myself as witty and feisty.

I would define myself to be humorous and daring, but in a safe sort of way.  I am unconventional and consider myself a realist.  Yet, I thrive on creativity of any sort and love to imagine the ideal.

I am a people-pleaser and major procrastinator.

I’m just Nico. Wuddup.