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When I was reviewing my posts, I could see how the focus of my posts changed. In the early semester, my posts are mostly focus on in class content, or close relate to what we were doing in class. For example, while we watched the video “The Machine is Us/ing Us”, I was very interested in that topic, so I wrote a post for my thoughts about that video. Then, as we were studying the programming language “html”, I felt I should benefit my classmates because of my computer science background, so I introduced a nice HTML Tutorial Website in my post. Lately, after the Social Media was finished, the focus of my posts moved to content outside class; many of my posts are then focusing on the twitter and blogs that I follow. For example, @HASTAC has tweet about how to preserving the online works, I thought there are some interesting ideas, so I quoted it and wrote a post. I also saw a very interesting article “The Prison-House of Data” on the 4Humanities forum, so I made a post for it, too.
The English in my posts is not very nice in teams of grammar and wording, because English is not my first language. For the design of my posts, I usually start with introducing the topic I would talk about, then quote some information from the original article and analysis them. And then, put everything together and explain my thoughts about that topic, I may also refer to another interesting resource that grew my thoughts sometimes. One way to improve the quality of my posts is using the writing center. The writing center is, as I experienced, very helpful to correct my grammar and choose the words.
Overall, I like this class and my posts. I had another English class, which required weekly journal. But the journal is kind of private, the post is a way different thing; I write it and people can read it right the way, and even make a comment. The thing has been changed a lot for “publication”, now everyone can publish something to everyone else (not really, internet and pc are still required, and have to follow the law). This is something people cannot image 20 years ago, and this is the power of technology. I do enjoy share my words with people on the internet.
Infographics, or information graphics is defined by Wikipedia as “graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge. These graphics present complex information quickly and clearly, such as in signs, maps, journalism, technical writing, and education. With an information graphic, computer scientists, mathematicians, and statisticians develop and communicate concepts using a single symbol to process information.” I wanted to find an exact definition for the word, because I’ve heard it thrown around with more and more frequency. I always took it as a fancy way to say, “I have an interactive graph to represent my data,” but this doesn’t tell the whole story. Technology has made these information graphics completely customizable and tailored to your specific data, if you have the technological know-how. The blog, flowing data by Nathan Yau, focuses on data visualization has peaked my interest lately with some very interesting interactive maps, some designed by himself, but many are shared from a variety of disciplines. One came from Ben Schmidt, through a map video showing the routes of ships across the world in 1750 and titled “A year of Ships”. The hand-written data itself from the time period would be extremely dull to look at I would imagine. One could spend considerable time reading through the shipping records, and not be able to draw many clear conclusions, compared to what can be done in minutes watching the data in this infographic. This is a prime example of how data can be visualized to make it more interesting. Other uses include driving traffic on your website and creating a branding tool for businesses. If you haven’t already, I suggest checking out Nathan’s blog to see first-hand some the very interesting infographics that he shares.
I had a chance to explore a new field of studies-Digital Humanities. One of the greatest opportunities of this class is an ability to witness changes that happen nowadays in Digital Humanities.
At first my blog entries were primarily focused on trying to define Digital Humanities. I was trying to find a clear definition of what it is. Honestly, at first I was even a little bit confused and frustrated since I could not come up with a clear definition of Digital Humanities. Therefore, in my first blog entry I wrote: “We do not know the exact definition of Digital Humanities. The reason is that digital humanities is a new study, which is still developing; it is an intersection of different sciences.” I was very interested in learning as much as possible about digital humanities.
I think everything changed at the moment I started to follow blogs and twitters accounts of people who are connected with Digital Humanities. Yes, I did not get everything from the first time and sometimes my interest was going down. However, as time was going I caught myself in checking news about Digital Humanities every day. By learning more and more about Digital Humanities I just felt that I became a part of this great innovation.
As I was learning more and more, my blog entries became more analytical and critical. For example, in one of my blog entries I asked myself a question: ”Are we the ones who are using technology or technology is using us?” I think my biggest concern that I still have is that if we can consider ourselves being able to control this process or we are just the source?
Due to this class I had an opportunity to analyze a lot and build parallels between different things, like defining the reasons why “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” was published in National Era and not in any other different newspaper or comparing Walden’s idea of cost to the “Time out” movie.
Whereas my first blog entries were strongly tied to class lectures and readings, my further blog entries were about current news in Digital Humanities. Everyday I was exposed to new openings. It was nice to see the development of Digital Humanities in other countries as well. I had a chance to read the French Manifest of Digital Humanities. Recently, I wrote about one of the greatest projects I have seen in my life- Google Art Project. For me one of the major advantages of Digital Humanities is an opportunity to share unique pieces of art or literature.
At the very first lecture, Dr.Cordell said that course blog would be like a research paper. At that time, I did not actually understood how a blog can be compared to a research paper. However, now I do understand it. During the semester all of us were analyzing and researching on the course material. Our blogs serve as a proof of our continuous development throughout the semester.”The thing we all should think about is Digital Humanities help us to digitize and save our history, and it leads us to a completely new level; therefore we all have to be engaged in this research.”
If I would be grading myself, I think I deserve an “AB” at this moment. The reason is that sometimes my blog entries are not very interested; also, my grammar is not always perfect and I really wish I could better express my thoughts in English.
Throughout the posts I have written so far, I find there is a pretty even split between posts reflecting class material, lab topics, and material from people I’ve been following. I think it would be fair to say that during the first couple weeks I was stuck in a regurgitation phase where I just repeated and expanded on what we did in class because I felt as if that was how a developing research paper should progress. But as we were introduced to more aspects of digital humanities, it became clear that creativity and being able to express yourself or the work of others weighs heavy when trying to gain interest from others. With that being said, I think it’s fair to say that I, and the rest of the class, found that expressing ourselves and bringing aspects of our lives into our blogs made interacting with others’ blogs push the envelope for what would be considered a traditional research paper. While blogging, I kept the research paper aspect in my head but the more I blogged and read blogs, I started to feel as if the class was doing research for a collaborative research paper, each person bringing something to the table each week to get the rest of the class thinking.
After reading over my posts again it was clear that I valued the opportunity to bring things relating to our class topics from my life into the blog. I made the relation between Henry David Thoreau and one of my favorite artists Bon Iver and how their success came from similar situations. After we explored data mining in lab I wrote about Steven Colbert using word clouds on his show and how topics we were talking about in class were being incorporated in our everyday life. For me, it is recognizing and expressing these relationships that has made me interested in digital humanities. In the first couple blogs I talked about how shocking it was to realize that this field actually existed and now to see it in places where I hadn’t previously seen it is pretty neat.
Overall, trying to give myself a grade on this assignment is a tricky task considering that the prompt was descriptive but still allowed for personal deviance. I feel like an assignment such as this is one that does not have a strict rubric to follow, but one that tries to encourage a student’s creativity upon contributing relevant material to the blog. If am I anywhere near correct with that statement, I would think it is fair to give myself and AB on my blog posts. My posts mostly involved outside content with direct relation to what was going on in class that week and ultimately that was goal of blogging each week. The whole blog scene was definitely new for me and to be honest it was quite an awkward experience at first. To be completely honest, I had a minor prejudice against blogging because I can’t stand soap box lecturers and pity party planners but after submitting a few and reading some others, the purpose of blogging became clear and I am grateful to have/ have had this experience.
My favorite part of this class was signing up for Twitter. I would have never of thought I would enjoy it so much but to be honest, I use it almost more than Facebook. The highlight of this semester was definitely getting a tweet from Chad Ochocinco. It just shows how the digital world can bring so many people together. Who would have thought a football super star (yes I said it) would tweet some kid from Green Bay, Wisconsin.
So far in this class, I have posted eight blogs. In the beginning, I blogged about something we read/discussed in class. However, lately, I have been relating my blogs more towards tweets and real life experiences that I have encountered dealing with digital humanities. For example, I wrote about my spring break vacation to Colorado when I tried to live like Thoreau. Overall it went pretty well and I thought I did a pretty good job. However, about a week ago, my computer crashed and it wouldn’t even turn on. It was horrible and I feared the worse. Through this, I realized that it is A LOT harder to live like Thoreau when you can’t actually use the technology. I didn’t have a problem in Colorado because the technology was still always close to me, I just didn’t use it. This experience was a lot worse and made me realize I could never live like Thoreau.
Going back and reading the actual description of what our blogs are suppose to be like; I realized I have strayed a lot. It describes our blogs as being an “evolving research paper” which I have no done at all. In the beginning, my blogs were a lot more specific and seemed like I was trying to write a paper, however, lately I have been having fun with them which makes my blog not only fun for me to write, but for others to enjoy reading (I hope).
After each blog post, I have gained more and more respect for what digital humanities actually is. In the beginning of the semester, I had no clue, now I understand a lot of the tweets/blogs I read and I have a great basic understanding of digital humanities. Because of this, I would give my blogs and AB. I still have a lot of work to do (I am by no means a great writer) however, I have enjoyed writing mine and reading/commenting on others.
During our semester, I have been most closely interested in technological innovations and how that changes society, affecting things such as intellectual property. This has been reflected within my blog posts. A condensed version of the themes for some posts:
1) Social and Cultural Aspects of Uncle Tom’s Cabin
- How DH project can be a resource for studying DH themes with things like Uncle Tom’s Cabin (my post focused on copyright laws and public themes during books publication time period)
2) Technologies Impact on the Legal System
- Digital media and copyright difficulties
- Physical media versus Digital media ownership rights
3) Broadening Carr’s Discussion: Technologies Impact on Sleeping Patterns
- Direct impact of technology of the life style of humans
- Development in technology changed sleeping patterns for humans
4) Orphan WorksInternet impact on publish ease and affects on copyright
- Ability to use technology to preserve (struggle between copyright laws and digitalization)
5) Youtube and Copyright
- Effect of Technological develop on media and the complications it can cause (in specific to our copyright system)
- Demonstrating use of new DH tools
- Develops a study of the English language and its developmen (tlife span of words and growth rate)
- Technological Innovations with a focus on fundraising online for DH projects
- Allowing DH scholars to put to use many of the new tools
Generally, my posts have analyzed technological invocation’s affect on society (frequently looking at copyright laws) and utilizing various DH tools and how they can be an aid. In one of my posts I commented:
“It shows often as fast as problems become solved by technology, new problem can arise through technology.”
This comment was made in reference to the slow pace of the legal system in adjusting to society’s technological advancements. I believe this is an important idea that underlined many of the different posts I wrote on. With many of my posts reflecting on this, I think a reader could easily figure out that I have an interest in law.
Throughout the system the types of posts I have written have developed. In the beginning most of my posts were broad reflections on some of the DH’s basic themes. However, as the semester moved on, and I became more familiar with DH, the focus of my posts became more specific. What I think is the most significant point is that the basic themes I highlighted in the beginning becoming the point of closer reflection in later posts.
Looking towards my grade evaluation I think it’s important to look at how close I met the syllabus expectations. The blog posts are meant to be seen as an evolving research paper. With the themes I have written on, I believe my blog posts have worked as this. They have thoroughly reflected on class discussion and brought in outside sources from scholarly social media feeds. Through these reflections I believe I have demonstrated an understanding of course material.
As I reflected on my previous posts I discovered two distinct trends. The first was my continued discovery and focus on the artful words one can find in literature. It is a rare find in much of today’s writing. Few and far between are the books that consistently use beautiful words and beautiful descriptions. That is one of the things I really appreciate in this course and it shows through my blogs. In the Thoreau Blog I wrote specifically about how his paragraphs often flow like poetry and sometimes even contain a few lines of poetry. The ideas and phrases flow through his novel Walden and completely enrapture the reader into the experiences.
In other blogs, I focused on connections from the class that I made to real life. The printing press brought back memories of field trips and I could use the knowledge I gained from one and apply it to the other. From my love of old movies I was also able to connect to the minstrel show idea and was fascinated learning how the minstrel shows originally started and how the studio era then drew inspiration from them. I was able to maneuver my own experiences to fit the course and maneuver the course requirements to enhance my experiences.
Through my reflection of my blogs I realized that this course is very different from many of the courses Saint Norbert offers in that it allows participants to explore and reflect the areas of interest within the course that are more geared towards their interests. For me, that is art and words. Instead of focusing on trying to militarily memorize information verbatim, I feel the structure of the course, as is evident in my blog, is much more open to personal interpretation understanding.
In looking back on my posts throughout the beginning of the semester I can see the quality of blog posts has changed a lot. I am by no means a great writer and sometimes writing anything longer than a paragraph is like pulling teeth. In the beginning my posts were very short and did not really tie in the ideas from the blog to the digital humanities. In my first few blog posts I found that I blogged about technology which does not surprise me. The posts were more about the technology and what it is rather than how it relates to or contributes to the digital humanities.
As the semester went on my posts became more focused on the actual course and lectures. I think my posting went more toward the actual class work because the more I learned about digital humanities the more I enjoyed the class. I did post about some controversial topics that we discussed in class which did not surprise me much. I enjoy talking about controversial topics and hearing everyone’s different opinions on them. Sometimes hearing other ideas can help me open up to a different side of an argument.
In a lot of my posts I would say my tone is questioning and that fits me. Since I was young I have always asked a ton of questions. As I grew up i continued asking questions because I think it is the best way to learn. When people present information as fact I find myself asking even more questions because there always seems to be parts of an argument that do not add up.
I feel I have learned almost as much from the blog as the actual coursework this semester. The way the blog was set up for this class is really neat. With contributors being able to bring other ideas from Twitter it allows us to take a look at so many different things that can relate to the digital humanities. There is so much information on this blog that you almost have to filter it when reading through it. It seems the overall quality of the blog has steadily risen throughout the semester as everyone got the hang of it. I think putting your ideas into a blog for everyone to see makes people want perform at their best for fear of embarrassment which may be a good thing.
Overall I think the blog was not as painful as I thought it was going to be which is saying a lot for someone who does not enjoy writing. It has helped explain a lot of the ideas brought to us through lectures and also made me aware of so many things in the digital humanities.
I’ve realized that over the course of the semester, my blog posts have changed significantly. Rather than writing blog posts like a paper that’s handed in, I began to write about interesting articles that I thought other students would find interesting as well (However, according to the syllabus, these blogs should be treated like a paper). Blogging became something I actually wanted to do on a week-to-week basis, which probably made my posts a lot more interesting to read. I also think my blogs got a lot shorter as time went on because I was able to be more direct. My lack of blogging experience clearly showed at the beginning of the semester; however, I would say my posts have become significantly better now that I have a few under my belt. When reading over the syllabus, I came across a part that said “Blogs only work when sustained by an energetic (and perhaps even chaotic) community.” I think as time went on, not only my posts, but also a lot of other students’ posts had some life and purpose behind them.
The topics of my articles varied between previous class discussions and articles I found through Twitter. There never seemed to be a common topic though. A few of my blog posts were about sports and science (which are a few areas of interest to me personally), but a majority of my blogs reflected on topics that I never would have found interesting before entering this class. The other neat thing I learned about blogs is that you never know what people will say about your blog or how big of an impact a blog could have. For example, I would have never imagined that critiquing the format of Walden would have attracted the editor to eventually beam in to one our lectures. That was a pretty cool experience.
One thing that seemed to come up in a few of my posts and in other students’ posts was the question: Is this technology a good thing or a bad thing for our society? Are people going to become smarter or more stupid? I think it is always complicated to discuss the repercussions that a certain method or technology could have on society, especially when the method is new to everyone. It always takes a few years to examine how something affects society as a whole. It also takes a few years for something like a new technology to get the kinks worked out in order to find out its true effectiveness.
If I had to give myself a grade for my posts, I think I deserve an AB because the most important aspect of the blogs was to show thoughtfulness and I put a lot of thought into each of my posts. The only requirement from the syllabus I really didn’t take into consideration was treating the blogs as a continuing research paper. At first, I tried doing that, but I think my posts lost a lot of enthusiasm when I wrote them like a paper. Other than that, I think my blogs were quality posts.
Overall, I found that posting blogs was an awesome experience and has opened my eyes to a whole other world. Not only was I able to express my personality in each of my posts, but I was able to see everyone else’s personality in their posts, as well. You definitely learn a lot from reading and writing blog posts about DH. This field is one that I will continue to explore now that I know how incorporated DH is in everyone’s lives.
I had to laugh at my first blogs, because they started off rather safe. I blogged about Digital Humanities in my first post because that’s what i thought was the “right thing to do.” I even have to admit I felt a little dumb and out of my element because the article I was reading and blogging about did not interest me as much as I might have implied. As the weeks went on and I started reading other people’s posts, I breathed a sigh of relief because most of the posts were about everything and anything people found to be relevant to the class, or maybe even not relevant at all! After that I expanded my horizons and started following twitter accounts that I tended to turn to every time I needed to blog because the information they tweeted was ALWAYS interesting. I found that the areas that caught my attention the most were social media, history, and a random array of topics that included feminism and problems that our society is facing.
After re-reading my blogs, I thought in the majority of the “opinionated posts” that I used a very sarcastic tone to try to get my point across. I realize now that this might not be the best method in the future because it can get stale after a while and truthfully a little annoying. If anyone reading my articles did not personally know me, I think they would deduce that I am a much different person than I am (or like to think I am) and it really opened up my eyes to see that I do not want people viewing me or my writing in that way.
What surprised me the most about my work is that I blogged about history a few times. My method of blogging every week was browsing twitter or our own Technology of Text website until I found something I was interested in, so the fact that I blogged about Slavery and living in “Old America” made me realize I enjoy looking into our country’s history and learning about our ancestors more than I thought I did. If I had to choose one aspect of the weekly blogging I value the most, it would just be the opportunity to write whatever I feel like writing and the freedom that it involves. Being a college student, I am always forced to write papers for classes on topics I don’t really car about; so having the ability to let out my opinions and views on a blog that none of my friends will read really helps me get through the week!