Today’s blogging prompt was to talk about a process or technological tool that I use as a writer/blogger/photographer.
I admit to having a love/hate relationship with technology. First of all, I will also admit that I was brought, kicking and screaming, into the technology era. When I first learned to type, I learned on an old manual typewriter. It was fun to type. I got to pound on the keys with as much force as I could muster. And then, the carriage made a very satisfying ding! when I was at the end of a line of type. In journalism school, we used manual typewriters in our basic newswriting classes. When we cut and pasted our articles, we were literally CUTTING and PASTING. I made friends with rubber cement. It was fun to play with scissors and rubber cement. I think that I cut and pasted for the sake of cutting and pasting.
When I got to more advanced classes, I found that I had to use a COMPUTER. I typed and edited on the computer. That was nice because my fingers were no longer sticky from all of that rubber cement and all of that white-out that I used because I typed too darned fast and made too many typos. I could make typos go away just by hitting backspace, which was fun.
The most magical thing about computers was that I could type an article and, somehow, the article was transferred from my computer to the editor’s computer. This was before the internet became a household item. I thought that it was magic. I could also rearrange articles in the computer. That was called CUT and PASTE. It was… well… okay, but it wasn’t as much fun as cutting and pasting with scissors and rubber cement.
Well, I will always prefer scissors and rubber cement, That is probably because I am a tactile learner, something that I will talk about in a future blog post.
So… fast forward to today. No one uses manual typewriters anymore, which is probably a good thing because it’s almost impossible to find replacement ribbons. Those darned ribbons. Your fingers were always covered with ink when you had to replace a ribbon. That is, unless the spool unspun and you had to respool the spool, while muttering some rather inappropriate verbiage.
What do I use now as a journalist and as a blogger? What are some of my favorite technological tools? Well, if I want to have a bit of fun, I can go to “Imgur.com” and make a meme. You just upload your own images and you can go to town with words.
There are websites that are very helpful if you want to make a collage of your photographs. When I am putting together a newsletter, I like to have a variety of photographs, and I find that the collage format is very attractive. There is also a low-tech version of that, and that is called scrapbooking. It involves a lot of glue and you get to use scissors, so, for all of us tactile learners, that is great fun. But if you want to make your collage online, there are several websites from which to choose, such as “fotor.com” and “fotojet.com.” Here, I have to say that the online choice is less stressful than the low-tech version. If you mess up a photo online, you can just delete that version and start over again. If you accidentally cut up a physical copy, you’ve got to get new photographs.
What about software? Well, for editing newsletters, I really like Microsoft Publisher. It has plenty of graphics options. You can make text boxes, resize a photograph, frame that photograph in any way that you choose, choose your font from a wide range of fonts that include everything from very bold to whimsical.
Then there are various other tools, such as digital cameras, voice recorders, and, of course, my favorite… Spell Czech!!! Well. It’s not perfect but what is?