I opened Dreamweaver and had an anxiety attack. I decided it would be way too stressful to try to complete a website in 6 weeks with no previous knowledge of building websites. So, I’m making a book instead. I suppose it will be more like a zine than an actual full length book. I’m really interested in depression era hobos and the fact that there are still nomadic people traveling around the United States, as a lifestyle choice. Some of these people who identify themselves as hobos and some don’t. My book is going to basically be about the “Modern Hobo.”
When I e-mailed Michael about the project he was concerned that hobo was an offensive word for a homeless person. I explained that hobos are homeless by choice because they love to travel. They have a similar set of values to the flâneur that we talked about last week. There is nothing negative about valuing experience more than possessions. Hobos just take that to the extreme. Michael thinks that I should focus on the etymological tensions of the word hobo. I had sort of envisioned the book as a helpful guide to living a hobo lifestyle. I was thinking of having chapters about hobo fashion, train hopping, eating, banjo playing, etc… Would it be possible to do both in the same text?
I plan to make my book in InDesign. The book is going to include a lot of illustrations, which I will make in Illustrator. I have used both of these programs before, so I feel much more confident that I can deliver what I am proposing. I feel much more passionate about this project than my previous project.
Although my project is more traditional, it is multimodal, since I will be using both text and illustration. There is not much in the Wysocki article that applies to my project. I would like to respect my reader with the text. I think this is harder to achieve in a traditional book than in interactive media. Its more about tone and allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions than giving them choices. I also intend to convey information using illustrations. I can’t honestly say that the text and illustrations will be, “equally visual and equally visually weighted” (Wysocki 151). I do think, in this case, the text will be more important. If time and my technological skills permitted, this would be an interesting project to make into an interactive website.
Wysocki critiques passages such as this one:
“In designing a document, you have five major goals…:
- To make a good impression on the readers…
- To help readers understand the structure and hierarchy of the information…
- To help readers find the information they need…
- To help readers understand the information…
- To help readers retain the information… (Markel, 1998, pp. 309-310)”
But I think that this is a good list to reference while working on my project.
Wysocki, Anne. “Impossibly distinct: On form/content and word/image in two pieces of computer-based interactive multimedia.” Computers and Composition. 18. (2001): 137-162. Print.