Coming Soon…

It’s been a while since I last posted on here so I figured I would let my readers know what’s coming up soon. I’ll have a review of The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell up here by tomorrow so look out for that!

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The Future

Us college students will soon be the new up and coming faces of the news and sports world and basically anything dealing with media. Being a student at UF means I’m surrounded by some of the best and brightest minds so I think it’s only fitting that I point out some people you should get to know because one day they are going to be stars.

I knew Lynne Guey before taking this class because we’re both Cicerones. We’ve given tours together so I know how great a person she is. Currently she works for the ABC News Bureau on Campus, look out for her because I can promise you she is going places.

I got to know Ashley Arnold through my classes. I can say without a doubt she is one of the most strong willed and determined person I have ever met in my life. She has connections to people all over, so definitely take a look at what she’s up to.

Alexis Willey and I have become friends through our classes. Her willingness to always lend a helping hand sets her apart. Go ahead and see what she has in store for the world.

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Odd one out

So the initial reason for me making this blog is for my advanced interactive media class. On our first meeting of the class I quickly noticed that my good friend Meredith Chipman and I were the only juniors in the class. We definitely have much to live up to since we are the youngest, but I know that Meredith is going to do great things in the future because of all the hard work she does for Dance Marathon at UF. I like being one of the young ones in class though because it gives me the chance to look at the work that my peers who are older than me put out. Matt Cretul for example has been around the block so to say and has a lot of knowledge on sports. Britney Martinez is doing big things on campus, I’ve always known of her on campus, so it’s nice to actually have a class with her. Being the young one in class actually isn’t that bad now that I think about it.

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The present is always a good time for anything, so I’m going to take a little bit of time to tell you about me and how I got to be where I am right now.  I was born and raised in Melbourne, so I’m a Florida boy through and through.  I have one sister who is two years younger than me.  My dad is an industrial hygienist for a company called Intersil and my mom is a high school teacher.  I attended private school all the way up to third grade, which was definitely an interesting experience and helped to shape the way I am today.  I actually skipped 2nd grade because the work was too easy for me.  Fast forwarding to 7th grade we get to West Shore Jr/Sr High school where I spent the next 6 years of my life.  My time spent here was very interesting because the school is a public school of choice with limited sports, in order to get accepted in to the school they hold a lottery.  West Shore is actually the 49th best high school in the country according to US News and World Report but by no means did we have the resources of this school.  After graduation I thought I was good at math and science so I majored in engineering which was definitely not for me.  Now I’m the Telecomm major that you all know, hoping to one day make it big as an anchor on SportsCenter.

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My Resume

Here is the resume of Zach Aldridge

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High School, all over again?

It was spring break last week for us, so what in the world am I doing at a school? Especially a high school at that.  Well, my mom is a high school teacher, so I stopped by with my roommates to say hi to her and walk around the campus.  It was so weird being back on a high school campus, we got there just as class was ending so I got to witness all of the kids talk in the courtyard and then scurry to class when the warning bell rang.  I liked seeing how important my mom is, her unofficial title is an administrator and dean even though she is really supposed to be teaching.  But they like her so much she gets to serve in an administrative capacity.  Even though I didn’t go to this high school it really took me back and brought back so many memories from my high school days.  This is high school is 100 times nicer than mine is though.  It’s only about 5 years old.  Their TV Productions class shoots everything in HD which i found amazing since this is only high school.  I’ll still take college over high school any day.

High School Courtyard

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Operation Get Right.

Over the past month I have been on a self created program to get my body right. Why am I doing this you ask? We are having a Cicerone male calendar and yours truly is Mr. November. This is going to be a top notch calendar so I need to be in top notch shape. I have been lifting everyday, and you can definitely see the results so far. My roommate bought the Perfect Sit-Up and that machine works wonders. I have changed my diet and the way I eat, I completely cut out eating fast food and fried foods. It’s been very hard seeing as hamburgers are my favorite food; but in the end, it will all be worth it. The shoot will be on March 19, and I’ll just say you’re going to want to buy this calendar.

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We All Cross Paths For a Reason…

This past Monday I was in a play titled “Crossroads,” it was a part of Black Male Extravaganza(BME).  BME every February at UF as a part of Black History Month.  BME is an all male production of acting, singing, and dancing.  The goal of the play is to paint African-American males in a positive light.  This years production discussed father son relationships.  My character was a nerd, and I must say I loved every minute of it.  In my very first scene I had the entire audience cracking up.

To get a sense of the play, it was basically a modified version of “The Wizard of Oz.”  My character Darell needed courage.  We went through an entire voyage and came across many different characters.  I’m so glad that all the practice and hard work is over, but I couldn’t be happier that I did it.

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St. Francis House

This is a project I did in my TV 1 class last semester. I wrote, shot and edited the video myself. (The audio in my first post didn’t work.)

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Don’t Make Me Think!

For my Advanced Interactive class we had to start reading a book called “Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability.” I’m not the type who enjoys reading very much but this book actually wasn’t that bad. I figured reading it wouldn’t be that bad because after all the internet is something that all of use every day and it definitely goes with what we are learning about in this class. First off I want to start by saying I loved how the author Steve Krug formatted the book. He intended for it to be a very quick and fairly easy book to read and that definitely was the case. All of the pictures made it pretty easy to follow along with and painted the picture of exactly what we were supposed to be learning.

I feel like the first chapter of the book really said a lot to begin with: Don’t make me think! This was Krug’s First Law of Usability, this couldn’t be truer. Because when you think about nobody wants to have to think when they visit a website, everything should be very evident to you from the get go. Just as Krug says on page 11 “I should be able to “get it”…without expending any effort thinking about it.” After reading the chapter I started to agree completely because when you think back on websites you visit you don’t want it to be confusing, you want the information right there at your fingerprints. I know myself, and I can get very impatient or frustrated if I visit a website and I don’t know what’s going on. I like to use the acronym “K.I.S.S” which stands for Keep It Simple Stupid, this just means making something easy and simple will make everything much smoother in the long run. A website that is very usable will attract much more viewers and page visits then a site that requires one to think about what they’re viewing once they get to the website. As Krug says we don’t really read the entire page we just scan it, therefore our websites need to quickly get the message we want to be conveyed across.

I must say I LOVED chapter 5 Omit Needless Words. With being a telecommunications major we all learn that clear and concise writing is the way to go, and I know that as a writer I could still use some work with that, but this chapter just did it for me, especially when he gave the Verizon survey example. I thought back to all of the times I visit a website and it has tons of words that are unnecessary, I always find myself just scrolling down to the bottom of the page to find out what I really need to know. When I visit a website I want to be able to quickly scan the page and then know what I need to know. The Verizon page was an example of something that I absolutely hate in a webpage, way too many words to tell me something very simple. The way Krug simplified the instructions down to 41 words was perfect.

I believe the best way to sum up this book is to just take a step back and simplify things. The easier a website is to use, and the more user friendly it is the better. Nobody wants to think when they visit a website, so don’t make them and everything will be alright. I can definitely see myself coming back to this book in the future, I’m glad I bought it instead of renting it!

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