One of the first points Molly Snyder makes when giving advice about digital journalism is that text is so accessible nowadays, yet hardly anybody wants to read anymore. People want to go straight to the point and not waste any time. This is why she advises that when writing for the purpose of posting online, you make your article short and to-the-point. This is why I chose to look at the article Positronic Tattoo Combines Art, Community, and Quality Work on OnMilwaukee. There are two articles about tattooing written by MIAD students in 2019, but I chose to review this one because it seemed more direct than the other one. The paragraphs were shorter, like Snyder recommended, and the text was also separated by photos making it easier to digest.
Snyder also recommends using hyperlinks in your article. Saying this connects readers to other articles that may be similar to the one you're currently reading. In this OnMilwaukee article, they use hyperlinks very scarcely. There is one at the beginning linking you to the shops website. I wonder if the author could have included a couple more. Maybe bringing us to the artists' individual websites and not just the shop's. One of the artists, Lennox, doesn't have a portfolio tab on Positronic's website. It would be nice to see what their work looks like even if they don't work there anymore.
Other than that the author did a good job of providing important background information at the top of the article like Snyder suggests. The author's opinions and less important information would be found near the end of the article.
In Jason McDowell's OnMilwaukee article, he mourns the beautiful cream buildings that used to stand where there is now surface parking lots. He talks about how the parking lots are places people don't actually want to be, it is a space where they want to walk through. He also talks about how no matter how many parking lots they create, people still won't want to park in them because they're not free.
When McDowell is talking about how the parking lots are soulless spaces that people don't even want to be in, it reminds me of the way Todd Mrozinski talked about spaces and art work. McDowell's passion in this article is the life that these buildings once possessed and attracted. The idea of spaces having a soul, something that is associated with life even though it is inanimate, is very similar to how Mrozinski perceives the world as well. Except, his spaces and values aren't being demolished like the building's McDowell misses.
It seems as though McDowell wants some of the Milwaukee culture to come back instead of being torn down, and that is why he is writing this article and bringing attention to it. This is made apparent through the mention of the Sydney Hih building, which he mentions having a lot of historic and nostalgic value as a bohemian artist community and venue. Nirvana was in that building at one point, and they just tore it down to make space for some cars. The disregard for the history of Milwaukee, just to make room for the future, is tearing down what made this city great in the first place.
Todd Mrozinski's perspective on his article's subject matter comes from a different angle than most. He can relate to the artist and their work, feeling the soul coming through the piece of work. In his own writing, he talks about how he feels the earth, but not just as the earth. He describes the ground as "thick German paper, soaked, blotted and prepared for printing". The paper he is describing now has life since it is associated with the ground he is walking on. He describes Thomas Haneman's untitled piece as having flowers that pulse and pop. Mrozinski talks about what he refers to as "The Pierre Bonnard room", which I can only assume is the painting "Dining Room in the Country", as also pulsating with life. Even though half of the piece are just objects that don't really have a life of their own. Mrozinski says it seems like we are about to join his wife and their cat's domesticated life. On top of the already colorful painting, his writing brings life to the piece as well. Making me feel the same way he does with the soul he puts into it.
Overall, there is life in Mrozinski's writing and work. This life is contagious into the work he writes about in the Urban Milwaukee articles.
Milwaukee National Sites Analysis
Milwaukee has one of the most interesting communities I have ever seen and have ever had the pleasure to be a part of. I am glad to see that that community also translates to Milwaukee-based websites. All the websites are informative on not only Milwaukee, but the surrounding cities. They also each have their own demographic they cater too even though they are sharing similar, if not the same, information. Milwaukee Record is trying to be satirical and not take itself too seriously while presenting their information. Then there is Urban Milwaukee. This website contains more op eds and is geared towards an older audience. It has more political content when compared to the other sites. On Milwaukee has a lot of activities and events happening in Milwaukee on their website, and so do many of the other sites.
All the articles provided on Milwaukee’s national sites are very short and easy to consume. There was never a time when I was reading one and felt it was being dragged on for too long. Their information was straight to the point and interesting. All the articles were based off current events. There was nothing too out of date, and all the articles were published within the last month. There was a wide range of articles that could appeal to anyone. As previously mentioned, there was the more political site in Urban Milwaukee, which already appeals to an older crowd, but also the way it was designed makes it appealing to older people as well. Urban Milwaukee had a very plain, simple design. There were not many fancy graphics, the background was plain white, and the text was just black. On Milwaukee and other sites were different than that. On Milwaukee had interesting logo design, and a colorful navigational bar. It seemed bright, bubbly, and youthful. On Milwaukee also had a quality a lot of social media apps have, which is the infinite addicting scroll. This also appeals to a younger audience.
Overall, the national sites that have been provided to Milwaukee and the surrounding communities cater to many different audiences. It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for, whether it be news, events, or some new art exhibitions. There is something for everybody.
Alexis Percival is a Milwaukee based illustrator currently attending the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and eating a muffin.