The Importance of Your Web Layout: Joshua Davis is Infinitely Interesting

As part of the final project for New Media Web Design for the semester, I have to write an essay profiling the background, work, and creative perspective of a recognized design studio creating award-winning web or interactive design work. The list we could choose from was Funny Garbage, Robert Greenberg Associates (RGA), Antenna Design, and Joshua Davis.

The following is proof about how the layout of your website can make or break whether you are offered certain opportunities, or whether a graduating senior will write an essay about you as a final project.

Funny Garbage -big text – REALLY big text – and crazy animations going everywhere.  It may be the Red Bull I drank at 1 am, but I’m growing anxious at the rapid movement.

R/GA – Oh, I see you are opening a Singapore Office.  Everyone is doing work in Singapore nowadays.  I see you like to use Helvetica.  Everyone likes to use Helvetica Nowadays. Oh, wow, you’ve won a whole mess of awards. You are also black, white, and red all over.

Antenna Design – You demand for me to get Flash 6.  My 4-year-old IBM can’t handle it.  Yes, I know, I’m not a full-fledged Mac user yet.  Why do you have to take such a low blow considering we just met?  I’m done with you.

Joshua Davis – At first glance, I see you laid out your site in a grid patter similar to Evan Roth.  Great minds think alike?  Oh, and your studio is based in Mineola?  You show images of your work right away, which I see mostly involve pleasant looking designs, some of which are in soothing kaleidoscope-like patterns.

Joshua Davis, in the spirit of Pokemon, I choose you for my paper topic.

Be the Leader/Thanks Hofstra

A few weeks ago I traveled to Baltimore (by Amtrak! woo!) for the Eastern Communications Association Conference at the Hyatt representing Hofstra University, PRSSA, and PRestige Agency.  I was registered as a speaker for the “Charting New Directions for PRSSA: Innovators, Explorations, and Adventures” along with other communications students.  The panel itself turned into a casual dialogue about the  frustration that all student-run organizations face: motivating other students.  As the VP of Development, Recruitment, and Media for PRestige Agency, I have had my fair share of challenges this past year.  After being asked what I thought were required qualities in a leader, I answered that not only does a leader need to be motivational, organized, and professional, they must serve as a mentor for younger students.  Students in undergrad are looking for advice and they turn to their peers first.  A strong leader is some one that others want to emulate, and it comes down to having a balance between the professional and personal.

Today was my last day of class at Hofstra University.  I graduate on May 16th with Latin Honors Distinction, an Associate Honors Degree,  a full resume, and much more wisdom than when I first walked onto campus four years ago.  Time and time again, I have been challenged to stand true to my identity and beliefs, defending myself and demanding respect when necessary, and learning to extinguish conflict when it approaches.  To my friends graduating, I would like to know if you can imagine your first day as a freshman, if you had any idea of what you were going achieve in the  following years.  I cannot.  I am astounded, dumbfounded and proud of what I have accomplished.

This past week I had to find my successor for my Vice President position.  Interested candidates emailed their resumes and cover letters and had an interview a few days after.  I based my decision on the strengths of the two candidates and if the position would allow them to build upon their existing talents.  Not only am I very excited and happy about the decision, but I cannot wait to see what next year’s E-board will do.  During both  interviews I discussed what I thought were necessary habits when dealing with people.  By coincidence, my advice was influenced by  How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (a purchase made after my friend Emily Meithner raved about it).

Because you should buy the book yourself, here is simply a tidbit.

Fundamental Techniques In Handling People

  1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.

    It never helps to surround yourself with negativity.  People will always respond much better when you praise their strengths, not criticize their faults.  The time and energy spent complaining about a situation is time and energy wasted.  Save yourself the heartache and stress, become more positive and use your time otherwise spent complaining constructively.

  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation.

    No one can ever tackle a project by themselves.  In a collaborative effort, every person involved is valuable to the team.  There have been times when I have been so frustrated about  a campaign with PRestige, I wanted nothing more than to throw up my hands and give up.  However, with the motivation I received from my team and their unending dedication, everything was accomplished.  When you recognize and appreciate some one else’s work, they will continue to perform at a high level.  At this time, I want to thank Alyssa Bertuzzi, Nick Schweers, Aqlesia Sahle, Marise Montrose and Hilary Franklin, members of next year’s E-board and committee for last fall’s “PRestige One Year Anniversary”, from the bottom of my heart.  Without your ingenuity and dedication, nothing I wanted to accomplish this year would have happened.  I am so proud to see how you have all taken on your positions with such enthusiasm. To feel that I have had some influence on you is one of the things I am most proud of in my career at Hofstra.  I am more than confident to leave something I have worked on for three years in your hands.

  3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.

    You will hear more people saying “you can’t” than “you can”.  Less people will want to see you succeed than those who don’t care one way or the other.  The only person you can hold responsible for your achievement is yourself.  When some one tells me something is impossible or too difficult, my stubbornness makes me want to prove them wrong.  I like challenges because they test you, and if you meet that challenge, you will reap the benefits.  The most driven people are the same way.  They see a problem and they want to solve it.  People who are smart, thoughtful and inquisitive will need to be mentally stimulated.  So challenge other people constructively, more so that they can grow from it.

And that’s the end.  At tomorrow’s last PRestige All Staff meeting of the year, my successor will be announced, and my duties for the agency will be over.  After a few last papers and projects, my adult life starts and the world is an oyster.

Many people and their influence have affected me and in some way led me to this point today.  I wasn’t valedictorian at my high school and I may not have a larger platform than this blog to do the following.

I’d like to thank:

Professor Ellen Frisina (for helping me make my schedule during Freshmen Orientation and convincing me to be a pr major), Professor Victoria Geyer (for your guidance, patience, and good advice), all of PRestige (especially the 5 members of the One Year Anniversary committee), all of PRSSA past and present (especially Rachel Zabinski, PRSSA President when I started and one of the first pr professionals I aspire to), all of the DJs at WRHU (and all the listeners), all the painters, photographers, and designers I have met in Calkins Hall (all eccentricities and quirks aside, you all inspire me), all members of Progressive Students Union (for challenging my principles and perceptions), all occupants of the “Mineola House” at one time or another, the 2009 Rubenstein Intern Dozen (where would we be without each other? under a desk), all the students who studied abroad in Venice January 2009 (especially my roommates Ashley Melo and Erin Willett) all educators and administrative staff at the Long Island Children’s Museum (the best job I will ever have), all the literature professors I have had, the occupants of “Corn Hole”, and every student I have had class with or had the pleasure of meeting these past four years, and all those who live the “Trife Life”.

Thank you for the adventures of the past few years.  Let’s see where the next four take us.

Outside There’s a Boxcar Waiting

I am content. Who knew that with a new found obsession with organization, this impulsive/ambitious self-expressionist with an affinity for getting flustered, can actually complete her to do list at the end of the day?

If there is one piece of advice I can spread onto others, it’s To Do Lists.  Write them, follow them, live by them.

All I can say is that for the past week there has been an extra pep in my step, tune in my head, and a smile showing up more often.  It’s due to an acknowledgment that yes, it’s awful to grow up.

The troubles of your youth are nothing compared to the issues you face now.  How I wish I could go back to the days when my biggest concern was if that strapping young lad in my psychology class noticed I wore blue today, which brings out the color of my eyes, and if he knew as much as I did how we were destined to get married and run off to a foreign country.

Poor Generation Y.  The pastimes of thier youth are growing more mediocre by the day thanks to technological advances and information overload. Take the Kindle for example.  I’m a bookworm – always have been.  My favorite memories as a child were my mother reading to my sisters and I before going to sleep, along with going to the library with my sisters after school and taking out ten books a week.  I love when I’m sitting somewhere reading and an intriguing stranger asks me what I’m reading.  Will the Kindle, a pretty fascinating bit of technology I can totally see as replacing hard copies of daily publications, take that away?  Will I read to my kids from a touch screen?

If there is such a risk, I guess I’ll take my family into the woods and we can live as hermits…but then this BA in PR I’m getting would be obsolete….

It has been hard to sit and write a well thought out entry.  Not to say that my classwork hasn’t been interesting.

I spent two hours Monday designing a logo of a monkey banging cymbals.

My Google Alerts are set to follow American Apparel – one would think I was obsessed with illegal immigrants and pornographic print ads.

I can now firmly attest to the fact that myself and my friends are the target demographic for Apple, Inc.

My homework last week was to call a customer assistance number in order to learn about customer relations.

In one of my classes, we recently took an exam.  The guy who did the best got a coupon for McDonalds.

These shoes stay on my feet.

I was originally planning to put this blog on hibernation.  Now it’s a featured blog on HTVi, Hofstra’s web television channel.  Op.

As I’m going through my final year at Hofstra, while most of my classes are work intensive, the most valuable lessons I have learned in the past month have been outside of the classroom.

Don’t let the little things get you down.  Not only does it takes great strength to pull through tough situations, but it’s highly admirable.  This is true for every case, whether your car gets towed by your university’s Public Safety or you jump out of a window during a party to impress  some one and get your ankle sprained in the process.  Yes, these things have happened.  (Dear Mom, I’m walking just fine, don’t worry.)

Avoid “group think” as much as possible.

motion graphics sketches 001No matter what age you are, you will always look back and reminisce about the past.  No matter how terrible the present will be, with your car towed and your right ankle swollen, in the future you will look back and wish you were back at this moment in time.  The solution?  Take every opportunity as it presents itself, spend more time having fun than wallowing in pity, and take photos of yourself.

Believe in the scientific method/design process.  Be curious.  Do your research.  Make assumptions.  Test out your theories.  Evaluate how you will do better in the future.  This also works in any situation, whether you are searching for your soul mate or trying to design a logo for your New Media class in Illustrator when the last time you really used the program was seven years ago.  Op.

Honesty is the best policy.

motion graphics sketches 006It’s fine to be a pack rat when the objects you keep have a great personal value.  When it doesn’t mean as much to you anymore, then feel free to be rid of it.  This is the case for every mix a boyfriend makes, book you inherit from your deceased grandmother, note you write on a scrap of paper, and souvenirs your friends bring back from countries afar.

Things are not always what they seem.  Don’t be scared, just roll with it.  Sometimes you like it more.  Like when you listen to a song for a while, then finally see the video, and be surprised.  A smidge.

Something to look forward to…

I’ve become a victim of the surreal way of thinking where everything that occurred previous to the present seems ages ago.  It happens most when you travel to a new place.  Two weeks into my final year of school, it feels as if the three weeks at home in Delaware working at a produce stand was a year ago, and the summer I spent in Chicago even further in the past.  If anything, it makes me anxious and worrisome, acknowledging the speed at which the passage of time travels and realizing how all too quickly my “adult” life is going to begin.  The biggest question in my head is whether everything I have done and worked towards will be worth it.  But I guess no one ever knows for sure.

To keep everyone updated, I am currently taking a New Media course in Motion Graphics at Hofstra.  I am required to have a blog in order to post my work along with comments about news involving media and design.  It has already become my most updated blog since I must have a minimum of four entries a week.  Take a look : RbLyN Creative.

I still use my Tumblr as my go-to for super micro-blogging, i.e. “i like this picture for its witty undertones”.  The most recent post on MyNameIsReb was the playlist from my last WRHU Airwave show.  I’ll probably reserve this blog for future playlists and lengthier posts. Tumblr is just too convenient to give up.

So if you tally it up correctly, I have two blogs for my own use (RbLyN Creative and MyNameIsReb), manage another (PRestige_Agency), a Tumblr, Twitter, along with the all too ever common Facebook.  While some accounts may be more updated and successful than others, it’s too important for some one in the field of marketing/public relations/communications/media/advertising to understand the use and advantages of all social media devices.  Some work better than others, depending on who the target is and whatever the product you are promoting.

What I have had most trouble with is figuring out the objective for my own “self-promotion”.  In the age of celebrity bloggers (people who have gained celebrity post blog) and successful youth (Harry Potter actors, Miley Cyrus, anyone who falls under the Disney star label), the perfectionist in me is wondering what it is I am NOT doing that is preventing me from overnight internet fame.  Maybe it’s laziness, maybe it’s a stubborn defiance to not be tippity typing on my laptop until the wee hours of the morning.  The fact is, I am in an undecided state in life.  All my personal belongings fit inside my car, I have yet to have a permanent address other than my parents’, and in 8 months I hoping to have a job in an uncertain field that will determine where that permanent address will be. The last thing I am going to do is claim to be an expert in anything.

Tried to do handstands for you…

Last night was my first show on WRHU’s Airwave since last spring.  If you missed it, listen on 9/ 22 at 9pm eastern on  Call in with requests 1 877 887 WRHU or tweet in requests @WRHU_Airwave.

The following are my favorite songs that I played last night.  I tried to include enough links for your listening pleasure.

Most of these will link to a video of a live performance, official music video, or an individual’s interpretation.  Sometimes a visual helps with the overall experience of hearing a GLORIOUS song for the first time.

lykke li dance dance dance (you can find great remixes for this as well. obv)
women group transport hall
impossible arms gonna move
diamond rings all yr songs
Coco Coco
Dr. Dog The Girl
Chairlift Bruises
Ponytail Beg Waves
The Big Pink Dominoes
Bjork Innocence
TV on the radio dancing choose
Coconut Records Back to You
Cake I Will Survive
The Mae Shi Run to Your Grave
Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip Thou Shalt Always Kill
passion pit sleepyhead
sleater kinney all hands on the bad one
animal collective my girls
The Strange boys woe is you and me
peter bjorn and john nothing to worry about
the smiths this charming man
fol chen no wedding cake
mumford and sons white blank page
my morning jacket one big holiday

….and I needs to study French

The reason why I haven’t updated recently is that it is Finals Week at Hofstra University.  This is the week that proves who is strong willed and who can outlast one another.  It is not for the faint of heart, and every man is for himself.

Even so, the procrastination bug hits me hard.  So here is a tribute to what my days have been like.


I promise that when I am done with finals I will finally get to all the updates I have been dreaming about for months.  Stayed tuned for some new features that will help you get a glimpse into the life of Reb.

how’d i get here?

my snow day was used productively: discovered two watch worthy shows by way of

Dollhouse – something to quench the thirst i have had since buffy ended (same writer and everything)

Chuck – best soundtrack of any comedy series hands down. hot chip, pop levi, talking heads, cake…all were heard as I spent 3 hours + watching past episodes. also appearances with jenny mccarthy, nicole ritchie, and that boy meets world kid. lame? – i think not

My dear friend Christina shared this with me tonight:

Litany in Which Certain Things Are Crossed Out

by Richard Siken
Every morning the maple leaves.
Every morning another chapter where the hero shifts
from one foot to the other. Every morning the same big
and little words all spelling out desire, all spelling out
You will be alone always and then you will die.
So maybe I wanted to give you something more than a catalog
of non-definitive acts,
something other than the desperation.
Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I couldn’t come to your party.
Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I came to your party
and seduced you
and left you bruised and ruined, you poor sad thing.
Your want a better story. Who wouldn’t?
A forest, then. Beautiful trees. And a lady singing.
Love on the water, love underwater, love, love and so on.
What a sweet lady. Sing lady, sing! Of course, she wakes the dragon.
Love always wakes the dragon and suddenly
flames everywhere.
I can tell already you think I’m the dragon,
that would be so like me, but I’m not. I’m not the dragon.
I’m not the princess either.
Who am I? I’m just a writer. I write things down.
I walk through your dreams and invent the future. Sure,
I sink the boat of love, but that comes later. And yes, I swallow
glass, but that comes later.
And the part where I push you
flush against the wall and every part of your body rubs against the bricks,
shut up
I’m getting to it.
For a while I thought I was the dragon.
I guess I can tell you that now. And, for a while, I thought I was
the princess,
cotton candy pink, sitting there in my room, in the tower of the castle,
young and beautiful and in love and waiting for you with
but the princess looks into her mirror and only sees the princess,
while I’m out here, slogging through the mud, breathing fire,
and getting stabbed to death.
Okay, so I’m the dragon. Bid deal.
You still get to be the hero.
You get the magic gloves! A fish that talks! You get eyes like flashlights!
What more do you want?
I make you pancakes, I take you hunting, I talk to you as if you’re
really there.
Are you there, sweetheart? Do you know me? Is this microphone live?
Let me do it right for once,
for the record, let me make a thing of cream and stars that becomes,
you know the story, simply heaven.
Inside your head you hear a phone ringing
and when you open your eyes
only a clearing with deer in it. Hello deer.
Inside your head the sound of glass,
a car crash sound as the trucks roll over and explode in slow motion.
Hello darling, sorry about that.
Sorry about the bony elbows, sorry we
lived here, sorry about the scene at the bottom of the stairwell
and how I ruined everything by saying it out loud.
Especially that, but I should have known.
You see, I take the parts that I remember and stitch them back together
to make a creature that will do what I say
or love me back.
I’m not really sure why I do it, but in this version you are not
feeding yourself to a bad man
against a black sky prickled with small lights.
I take it back.
The wooden halls likes caskets. These terms from the lower depths.
I take them back.
Here is the repeated image of the lover destroyed.
Crossed out.
Clumsy hands in a dark room. Crossed out. There is something
underneath the floorboards.
Crossed out. And here is the tabernacle
Here is the part where everyone was happy all the time and we were all
even though we didn’t deserve it.
Inside your head you hear
a phone ringing, and when you open your eyes you’re washing up
in a stranger’s bathroom,
standing by the window in a yellow towel, only twenty minutes away
from the dirtiest thing you know.
All the rooms of the castle except this one, says someone, and suddenly
suddenly only darkness.
In the living room, in the broken yard,
in the back of the car as the lights go by. In the airport
bathroom’s gurgle and flush, bathed in a pharmacy of
unnatural light,
my hands looking weird, my face weird, my feet too far away.
And the the airplane, the window seat over the wing with a view
of the wing and a little foil bag of peanuts.
I arrived in the city and you met me at the station,
smiling in a way
that made me frightened. Down the alley, around the arcade,
up the stairs of the building
to the little room with the broken faucets, your drawings, all your things,
I looked out the window and said
This doesn’t look that much different from home,
because it didn’t,
but then I noticed the black sky and all those lights.
We walked through the house to the elevated train.
All these buildings, all that glass and the shiny beautiful
mechanical wind.
We were inside the train car when I started to cry. You were crying too,
smiling and crying in a way that made me
even more hysterical. You said I could have anything I wanted, but I
just couldn’t say it out loud.
Actually, you said Love, for you,
is larger than the usual romantic love. It’s like a religion. It’s
terrifying. No one
will ever want to sleep with you.
Okay, if you’re so great, you do it—
here’s the pencil, make it work . . .
If the window is on your right, you are in your own bed. If the window
is over your heart, and it is painted shut, then we are breathing
river water.
Build me a city and call it Jerusalem. Build me another and call it
We have come back from Jerusalem where we found not
what we sought, so do it over, give me another version,
a different room, another hallway, the kitchen painted over
and over,
another bowl of soup.
The entire history of human desire takes about seventy minutes to tell.
Unfortunately, we don’t have that kind of time.
Forget the dragon,
leave the gun on the table, this has nothing to do with happiness.
Let’s jump ahead to the moment of epiphany,
in gold light, as the camera pans to where
the action is,
lakeside and backlit, and it all falls into frame, close enough to see
the blue rings of my eyes as I say
something ugly.
I never liked that ending either. More love streaming out the wrong way,
and I don’t want to be the kind that says the wrong way.
But it doesn’t work, these erasures, this constant refolding of the pleats.
There were some nice parts, sure,
all lemondrop and mellonball, laughing in silk pajamas
and the grains of sugar
on the toast, love love or whatever, take a number. I’m sorry
it’s such a lousy story.
Dear Forgiveness, you know that recently
we have had our difficulties and there are many things
I want to ask you.
I tried that one time, high school, second lunch, and then again,
years later, in the chlorinated pool.
I am still talking to you about help. I still do not have
these luxuries.
I have told you where I’m coming from, so put it together.
We clutch our bellies and roll on the floor . . .
When I say this, it should mean laughter,
not poison.
I want more applesauce. I want more seats reserved for heroes.
Dear Forgiveness, I saved a plate for you.
Quit milling around the yard and come inside.

“Litany in Which Certain Things Are Crossed Out” by Richard Siken. From Crush, �© 2006 by Yale University, published by Yale University Press.

Yeah yeah yeah yeah…

Here’s the playlist for tonight’s Airwave on WRHU 88.7FM



Gospel Claws Don’t Let It Die
Arctic Monkeys Leave Before the Lights Come On
Cosmic Starfish Don’t Give Up
Nada Surf Where Is My Mind?
The Juliana Theory Musicbox Superhero
Fol Chen No Wedding Cake
Various Artists Lovesong
M.I.A. Paper Planes (DFA Remix)
Shout Out Louds Hurry Up Let’s Go
Charles Spearin Anna
Myka 9 To The Sky
Dragon Fli Empire Fast Break
Shy Child Kick Drum (feat. Spank Rock)
el Goodo Feel So Fine
The Honorary Title Stuck at Sea
A.C. Newman Like A Hitman, Like A Dancer
Interpol P.D.A.
Talking Heads Life During Wartime
Vampire Weekend A-Punk
Pavement Roll With the Wind
Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head Slow Motion Tag Team
Dan Auerbach The Prowl
Reel Big Fish Gigantic
Golden Boots Knife
Portugal the Man Shade
Bright Eyes We Are Nowhere and It’s Now
Titus Andronicus Fear and Loathing in Mahwah, NJ
Spiral Beach Kind of Beast
Pixies Hey
Hot Panda Cold Hands/Chapped Lips

and you’re you

I stopped by WRHU tonight to do my weekly charting and ran into Steve, who is now the sole DJ for “Ska Show” in Studio South. It prompted a conversation about the station itself and the fear of more news programs being included in the format and Airwave and other music shows facing extinction. There has also been much talk about how the “music kids” of the station feel like outcasts. My theory is that the “music kids” have nothing to collaborate on. The staff who work on Morning Show and Newsline work together to research, report, and deliver award-winning newscasts. The Sports Department works tirelessly to bring forth talented announcers. Through these projects, there is a camaraderie between all those staff members which “music kids” are lacking.

My hope is to propose (for a second time) a music news show dedicated to talking about today’s music and where the industry is leading. As producer of Airwave, I know it is a show worth being listened to. The difficult question is how you get college students to listen to radio again, period. The music industry is changing and the discussion over it has gotten old. Everyone knows the majority of today’s music is downloaded and music is listened to by peers’ suggestions and through word of mouth. The “word of mouth” tactic is much more effective than pushing something on audiences on a daily basis (i.e. Top 40). As much of a fan I am of digital media and the boundless opportunities with the Internet, I still want to have my two hours a week, wearing my headphones and playing music.

What is the answer?

Speaking of being thrown for a loop by the boundlessness of the Internet, The role of the librarian is changing for all you bookworms. Instead of simply shelving books, librarians are teaching school children how to do research and find correct information (via the Internet). They also teach children how to create Powerpoints and the like.

If a career such as that of a librarian can adjust to this ever evolving world of Web 2.0, will others?

Other exciting news – Neko Case was interviewed for this week’s T Magazine. I was only about a page through when I fell asleep last night, but I was pleased nonetheless for an indie artist to make it to a prominent publication.

Then I thought – is that what I want? To have “best kept secrets” shared with the rest of the world?

I was livid when Kanye West used the bit from Daft Punk’s “Harder Better Faster Stronger”.

There is that great feeling of discovery when finding some great new music/art/designer/restaurant/bar/website/athlete that makes one feel hesitant to share with anyone else.

Or should we think more along the lines of “good for you!” when new music/art/designer/restaurant/bar/website/athlete gets more recognition?