Description of TheJunkDrawerHumorForTheMasses


Why was TheJunkDrawer started, who is the creator/rhetor, and general information...

http://www.junkdrawerblog.com/about
-Was started in July 2007 primarily to write about technical tips, language and linguistics, and humor stories but began focusing on the humor stories due to the better response.

-Creator: Kathleen M. Frederick
Has a B.A. in Business Communications from DeSales University
Worked as a freelance writer for two years
Kept writing for herself, family, and friends over the years and they told her that she needed to publish her work. Tried to get her stories published in media outlets but didn't work out and that is why "The Junk Drawer" was created.

-General information about the blog
In "The Drawer" you will find "stories about anything that amuses me, confuses me, or makes me blow a gasket.'
A great deal of complaining also takes place, which is considered to be a form of "cheap therapy" by some of the readers.

"So pull up a mouse and get clickin’"


Layout of Blog

TheJunkDrawerHumorForTheMasses is divided into three columns, also consisting of a header and footer.

Header

The header is found at the top of the page, depicting the title of the weblog and three sentences giving a description of what type of content to find within the blog:

The Junk Drawer | Humor for the Masses
Fresh and delicious stories about anything that amuses me, confuses me, or makes me blow a gasket. Take a look around the drawer. Just leave everything where you found it."

The header also has a search engine found in the upper right-hand corner. In the bottom of the left side of the header, there are found four imbedded tabs titled "Home," "About the Drawer," "Greatest Hits," and "Feed Me," all which link to further pages within the blog for more information.

Body

Following the header is the body of the content which is divided up into three columns. The first column on the leftmost-side contains the context of the posts, mostly text. The second column is found to the immediate right of the first column and contains information to better navigate within the weblog including nine different text boxes containing the following information: a "Welcome to the Junk Drawer" with a picture of the creator, Kathy (full name: Kathleen M. Frederick); "Smiley Me" which refers to the number of times that 'The Junk Drawer' was hit on 'Humor Blogs dot com'; a "Keep Up With Me" section in which links are available to members of the audience who can 'Subscribe in a reader,' 'Subscribe via email,' view how many readers are subscribed to the blog; and choose the 'Follow me on Twitter' link; a link to purchase your tickets for "Blogher '09," which is a conference held July 24-25 in Chicago for women bloggers covering an array of topics; a "Plastic Bag Tracker," which is currently keeping track of how long a plastic bag remains in a tree until someone removes it with a link to find out more information; "Recent Posts" which are listed in reverse-chronological order of the current month's posts; "Categories" which lists the different topics alphabetically; "Dig Through the Drawer" option in which viewers can search archives by selecting a specific month and year; and, finally, a link to 'Humor Bloggers dot com.' In the third column, or the farmost column on the right, there are four text boxes featuring: the blog "Blogher" and related links; "Today's Featured Blog"; and "Mmmm.....Blogroll" suggesting fellow bloggers to take a look at specific blogs; and, also, a recogniztion of Kathy's CC (Creative Commons License).

The footer is, once again, divided into three columns. Progressing from left to right, as before, the first column addresses "Recent Posts" which lists and links to the previous five posts in reverse-chronological order. The second column refers to "Recent Comments" where it also lists and links to the five previous posts but in chronological order as the audience responds. The last column is titled "Meta" which links to 'WordPress,' 'Entries RSS,' and 'Comments RSS' (not exactly sure what this is yet). At the bottom of the footer, the 'copyright' and 'reserved rights' policies appear, protecting the blog.

Color Scheme

Overall, the color scheme incorporates dark-toned colors throughout the blog. The header consists of a dark red background with white-colored text. The body of the weblog (meaning the three columns) have gray backgrounds. The left-most column has the lightest gray background while the text within the posts is black and the text within the titles of the posts is gray. In the second and third columns, the backgrounds are dark gray with black-colored text. More colors appear in the last two columns due to the advertising, links, bullets, and images. This coloring also appears within the posts as pictures or videos are incorporated into the posts.

Posts

Every post begins with the title, followed by a page break, and then stating that the post was posted by Kathy at the specific date (month, day, year). Next to appear is usually a visual aid of some sort, either a picture, image, or even a video clip. Sometimes, a little text is written prior to the visual aid but it is mostly the visual aid coming first; rarely will the image come following the text. After the text of the blog, a link to " If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!" appears, asking bloggers to comment and react. Next, a brownish-gray colored text box appears with a bullet indicating which category(ies) the post falls into and also how many bloggers "threw something in the drawer," referring to the number of comments that have been posted thus far. The text box serves as a divider between one post to another.

Process for Looking at Specific Posts

-The weblog was created in July 2007 and I decided to look at posts half-way through the year (beginning with July 2007) and at the end of the year. Total, I looked at five months: July 2007, December 2007, June 2008, December 2008, and the current postings of March 2009. I looked at all posts for that specific month.

Summary of Posts

Date of Post Title of Post Number of Images Number of Videos Links Number of Paragraphs Number of Comments
7/31/07 Broadband in the Dad 0 0 3 5 4
7/30/07 Early tech support 0 1 2 0 8
7/30/07 It ain't Shakespeare 0 0 4 1 0
7/30/07 Exercising with Will Shortz 0 0 4 3 2
7/29/07 Food that looks like stuff 0 0 3 2 12
7/29/07 Dying to get back to Paris 0 0 3 1 3
7/29/07 Loving your curly hair 0 0 3 3 4
7/29/07 Adventures in Tech Support: When your 82-year-old father wants to be on the bleeding edge of technology 6 0 2 60 31
12/31/07 Is Anyone Dumber Than Me: Anyone? Anyone? 1 0 2 7 40
12/29/07 A Tech Tip From My Cat 1 0 3 7 44
12/27/07 The Mother of All Bad Pictures 1 0 2 4 40
12/25/07 A Cracklin' Good Time 0 1 3 2 30
12/24/07 Lazy is as Lazy Does 1 0 2 3 27
12/21/07 It Would Have Paid to Wait 1 0 8 6 41
12/19/07 My 57-Minute Silent Scream 1 0 3 25 26
12/13/07 I'm Forgetful, I'm Stupid, and I'm Old 1 0 2 2 46
12/13/07 So THAT'S What They're Saying 0 2 2 2 28
12/11/07 Pardon My Appearance 1 0 2 2 27
12/8/07 Happy Hallo-Christmas! 0 1 3 3 24
12/5/07 More Food That Looks Like Stuff 1 0 3 3 19
12/5/07 Stinky's Having a Google Nightmare, Too 0 1 5 5 17
12/3/07 More About New Blogger Commenting System 0 0 3 3 41
12/2/07 Google's Being a Poopy Head, Too 0 0 3 3 56
6/30/08 Never Say Never 1 0 4 12 87
6/29/08 Draft Post #11 1 0 4 8 41
6/26/08 My Big Fat Head 1 0 5 9 67
6/22/08 Kathy By the Numbers 1 0 2 1 60
6/20/08 Brain Farts Stink 1 0 2 7 62
6/17/08 1972: A Good Year for Ophthalmology 2 0 2 0 64
6/16/08 Update on Wordless Wednesday Post 1 0 4 2 31
6/14/08 The Mosaic Picture Meme 2 0 19 5 40
6/9/08 The Next Time You Blow Your Nose 1 0 2 7 82
6/7/08 Bloggy Things 4 0 12 10 32
6/4/08 The Day I Ate Rubber Bands 1 0 3 6 78
12/31/08 Preparing for an Avalanche 1 0 2 0 93
12/26/08 I Made the Paper! 1 0 2 0 91
12/22/08 Bacon for Your Blog 1 0 4 1 105
12/20/08 Weirdest Trip Memento I've Ever Saved 1 0 2 2 94
12/17/08 Diva for a Day 1 0 4 1 54
12/12/08 So Which Was Worse? 2 0 2 5 92
12/9/08 Do You Hate Me? 2 0 4 4 84
12/7/08 A Sunday What's That? 1 0 4 1 77
12/2/08 I made a Rookie Mistake 1 0 3 7 142
3/21/09 Delurkify Yourself 1 0 3 1 79
3/19/09 Cooking Broccoli the Really Slow Way 1 0 2 0 72
3/15/09 A Gross Question for Dog Owners 1 0 3 5 114
3/11/09 Overheard in an Elevator 1 0 2 1 66
3/9/09 Forget the Defendant, I'm the Insane One 1 0 12 2 75
3/5/09 We Have a Winner! 2 0 6 4 45
3/3/09 What's That Tuesday 1 0 4 1 60


As you can see, a few trends can be observed with the above information. For the number of images, hardly none were used in the first month observed but by 6/30/08, at least one image was used per post. The trend seen in the videos took almost a reverse-effect when compared to the images. Videos were used within in a post sparsely up until 12/5/07, and no other videos were used in the posts (at least in the choosen months to be critiqued). As for the links within the text of the posts, it varied from at least two links to as many as 19 (on a rare occassion). At least two links were used in every single post; one due to the "Kathy" link that is included in every post stating who the post was posted and is found by the date. The number of paragraphs were random as well, usually ranging within the single digits but also a few instances when they reached a quite higher number. The longest post recorded was the very first post the rhetor wrote, containing sixty paragraphs. A trend is definitely observed by the number of comments over time. The first posts saw very few comments but towards the end of the analyzed posts, the responses greatly increased, sometimes seeing over a hundred different thoughts thrown into the "drawer." Also, how often the posts are written vary from a few posts done in a day, a post written every day, every other day, and a post written every few days-it really varies and there is no pattern.

Description of Specific Posts

I decided to look at the first and last posts within the five months of the chosen posts. In this process, the duration of the entire weblog can be covered and analyzed to recognize any similarities in the selected posts.

A look at the specific posts:
Adventures in Tech Support: When your 82-year-old father wants to be on the bleeding edge of technology - July 29th, 2007
http://www.junkdrawerblog.com/2007/07/adventures-in-tech-support-when-your-82-year-old-father-wants-to-be-on-the-bleeding-edge-of-technology.html
-Like all other posts, this post is posted by "Kathy," which is a link. "Kathy" talks about getting her parents a computer back in 1997 and all the time she spent on installing it and loading everything on to it. She complains that her father only uses the computer "...to play a game on AOL called Slingo" on it and to listen to specific radio stations that have polka music. All technological difficulties get put on "Kathy" to fix. Another issue "Kathy" discuss is about her dad wanting an ipod to listen to his polka music when he is away from the computer but won't even be able to see the screen of what songs he wants because he has bad eye sight.
-Post has 6 images, 60 paragraphs, 2 links, and has bolded text throughout the text.


Broadband in The Dad Zone - July 31st, 2007
http://www.junkdrawerblog.com/2007/07
-This post refers back to "The Dad Zone" and the difficulities with technology. The latest issue was getting dad broadband access.
-Post has no images, 5 paragraphs, 3 links, and no bolded text throughout the content.


Google's Being a Poopy Head, Too - December 3rd, 2007
http://www.junkdrawerblog.com/2007/12/googles-being-a-poopy-head-too.html
-Posted by "Kathy" and she complains about the changes that Google made in order to leave comments on a blog. Kathy goes on to explain exactly what steps a blogger needs to follow in order to share comments. She goes into detail about the steps "commenters with Google accounts" as well as "commenters without Google accounts" have to follow. An update about the story appears at the bottom of the post but no date is listed to clearly understand when the change was made.
-Post has no images, 7 paragraphs, 3 links, and bolded text throughout the content.


Is Anyone Dumber Than Me? Anyone? Anyone? - December 31st, 2007
http://www.junkdrawerblog.com/2007/12/is-anyone-dumber-than-me-anyone-anyone.html
-Posted by "Kathy" and expresses the problems "Kathy" has with backing out and in to her garage. Details such as the damage that took place and the efforts of being rescued by her husband are included.
-Post has 1 image, 7 paragraphs, 2 links, and bolded text once again. Image reads: "Oops!"


The Day I Ate Rubber Bands - June 4th, 2008
http://www.junkdrawerblog.com/2008/06/the-day-i-ate-rubber-bands.html
-Posted by "Kathy" and talks about one of the most disgusting things that "Kathy" has ever eaten before. Complains of the appearance, texture, and taste of it.
-Post has 1 image, 6 paragraphs, 3 links, and bolded text. The image is a picture of italian tripe sitting in a deli. The rhetor invites comments asking "So, what's the most disgusting thing you've ever eaten?"


Never Say Never - June 30th, 2008
http://www.junkdrawerblog.com/2008/06/never-say-never.html
-Posted by "Kathy" and discusses the predicament the she deals with BlogHer and a chance to earn some money. She wants to make a little money to help pay for the expenses of blogging but doesn't want ads to appear on her blog, which is what BlogHer has done. "Kathy" has a conversation with "Conflicted Me" and "Sensible Me" throwing the pros and cons back and forth.
-Post has 1 image, 12 paragraphs, 4 links, and bolded text. The image reads: "yes"


I Made a Rookie Mistake - December 2nd, 2008
http://www.junkdrawerblog.com/2008/12/i-made-a-rookie-mistake.html
-Posted by "Kathy" and deals with mistakes that "Kathy" has made throughout life. The first one that is addressed is about deleting a blog, in which she goes into detail about all the problems that it creates. This leads "Kathy" into the telling of other life's mistakes she has encountered: failing to properly make tuna casserole; letting her car run out of gas; wearing the banana hair clip in her twenties; and having only one contact in on of her eyes when having an eye exam.
-Post has 1 image (of an eraser), 7 paragraphs, 3 links, and bolded text.


Preparing for an Avalanche - December 31, 2008
http://www.junkdrawerblog.com/2008/12/preparing-for-an-avalanche.html
-Posted by "Kathy" and the only thing that is present is a picture of a Christmas tree with a caption. The only text that is written is: "Happy New Year! And a pat on the back to all the smart people who got an artificial tree."
-Post has 1 image (the Christmas tree), no paragraphs, 2 links, and no bolded text.


What's That Tuesday - March 3rd, 2009
http://www.junkdrawerblog.com/2009/03/whats-that-tuesday.html
-Posted by "Kathy." It is a very short post in which "Kathy" has found a picture containing an object and it is up to the audience to guess what the object is. The participants have a chance at winning a prize if they guess correctly and are the first person to get it right.
-Post has 1 image (of the mysterious object), 1 paragraph, 4 links, and bolded text.

Comments sections

The comments box or the "drawer" can be found at the end of every post. The number of responses has greatly increased over the course of time and from a broad audience. The comments are found numbered in chronological order, from top to bottom. A comment begins by listing the name of the respondent, followed by the date and time the comment was written, the comment itself, and a link/reference to the respondent's last blog post. The picture link can also be found on the rightrhetor's photo, of "Kathy," can also be found on the right hand side of the first column of the content. As mentioned, the comments are listed numerically and the boxes of text alternate colors while going down from post-to-post.

Overall, the comments are contain short responses, some vary from a few words and can expand to a few sentences. One thing "Kathy" says on the "About the Drawer" page is:

"Feel free to dig through the The Drawer and drop a comment if the mood strikes you. You have my guarantee — if you comment, I reply!"


Analysis of TheJunkDrawerHumorForTheMasses

-Analysis is based on the ideas of blogging from the article "Blogging as Social Activity, or, Would You Let 900 Million People Read Your Diary?" - by Nardi, Schiano, and Gumbrecht

First, I looked at the why bloggers blog, including to:
1.) Update others on activities and whereabouts
2.) Express opinions to influence others
3.) Seek others' opinions and feedback
4.) "Think by writing"
5.) Release emotional tension

Update others on activities and whereabouts
-Although Kathy doesn't go into detail about all the occurences in her life, she explains the annoyances and difficulties of life, which is how it leads to humor in the posts. She avoids telling of her whereabouts and never makes reference to where her days take her; she leaves that part out. She does talk about previous trips, especially her trip to Paris. Of the posts I looked at, many refer to technological problems, past stories occuring in childhood, stories where she complains and criticizes, stories where she makes fun of herself, and stories that also include her cat and husband from time to time. In a round-about way, she does update others on her activities but not her whereabouts.

Express opinions to influence others
-One of the main purposes of this weblog is for Kathy to complain and voice her opinion on certain topics. In one instance, she did a great deal of complaing about how Google kept changing the way readers could leave comments on blogs and then she included a following section giving her directions on the proper way to comment on blogs. Many times, she will write her post, while including her opinions, but will also ask for the readers' views and to share related experiences.

Seek others' opinions and feedback
-Kathy definitely asks for the audience's participation and opinions. She makes several statements at the end of her posts to get the reader involved, including:
-"OK, folks. Time for you to share your dumb driving experiences. You didn't think I posted this for your benefit, did you? I'm looking for the dumb, stupid, idiotic stuff. Make me feel better."
-"If you have any questions, or if you just want to complain about this new system, drop a comment in the drawer. Oh, how we love to complain here! It's good therapy."
-"So, what's the most disgusting thing you've ever eaten?"
-See "Delurkify Yourself" post-http://www.junkdrawerblog.com/2009/03/delurkify-yourself.html

She also has a contest on her blog, it is called "What's That" and it is for the audience to guess what the random object is in a posted picture and the first person who guesses and gets it right has the option of getting either a 'Junk Drawer' magnet or 500 Entrecard credits. Kathy values the comments of her readers because, as stated before, she wrote mostly about tech tips, language and linguistics, and humor stories in the beginning of the blog's existence. She changed her blogging to primarly humor pieces due to the large interest by her readers.

Release of Emotional Tension
-This site certainly relieves stress. Kathy takes advantage of being able to vent through her writing while people take an interest in reading about it as well. A line of communcation is created between the blogger and the crowd where it is a sort of 'therapy. Anything and everything she writes about takes on a sense of criticism or complaining, sometimes even against herself.

"Think by writing"
-As with the previous reasons as to why bloggers blog, this one is pretty straight-forward. Her posts do provoke the audience to "think by writing" in the way she wants to include them in her blog. She has a passion for writing in which this blog has helped to continue.
(Cut short because I felt like I wasn't keeping my 'view from the balcony'!)

Patterns...
-Patterns of Omission

-Anomalies to Patterns

-Patterns of Repetition

-Patterns of Sequencing
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