Final Proposal Idea

It looks like (and makes the most sense) to stick with my weekly videos summing up the progress of the Pittsburgh Penguins as they continue to fight through the season in the hopes of repeating as Stanley Cup Champions.  I mean, I spend more time watching games and keeping up with the team than I do most anything else and writing about things you’re passionate about makes the most sense.  Essentially, these videos will include game highlights, maybe bits of interesting interviews, and anything else going on with the team.  I’m thinking of it as a weekly recap of the team as they continue with the tail end season to make the playoffs and fight to withhold their championship title.

The best part is that I’ll always have new and interesting material to report about.  During intermissions of games, FSN Pittsburgh usually airs something about the team like a charity even they held or an inside look at some of the players.  Like any other athletes, the Pens are a fun team with a lot of personality.  Making these videos should be fun and a good excuse to feed the obsession.

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Daily Shoot pics

I really like this idea with DailyShoot, then again, I do love photography despite my lack of a cool camera.

squares (these are the disgusting tiles in our bathroom.  Whoever thought of the colors ought to be fired)

background

filling the frame (this is a ribbon on a makeup bag)

and lastly, a symbol in honor of our ownage in the Olympics.  I actually took this when I took a visit to VMI.

Pictures Are Worth 1000 Words

The last two weeks have been relentless thanks to midterms.  Time to play catch up!

Right, so I’ve never really used Flickr too much, especially when it comes to searching for images over the internet simply because Google images usually yields fast results.  However, looking at Flickr now, I’m not sure I can jump to my Google image searches first simply because the quality of these photos are so much better!  It’s such a change from Facebook where any quality image loses its sharpness after being uploaded.

So here’s my favorite image:

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I love photographs like these because they invite questions from whoever is looking at the picture.  Why is the bed unmade?  Was someone late for school and didn’t have time?  Was the person lazy?  Did he/she receive a phone call in the middle of the night that a loved one was admitted in the hospital?

I think it’s important that photography invites question because photography is meant to inspire others to answer those questions with photographs of their own.  It’s a never-ending circle.

New Idea

I’ve tossed out my FML/MLIA/PostSecret idea simply because I wouldn’t have much to work with as far as making a story.  I would have to fill in the gaps too much which would take away the point of a digital story so I’m taking the easy option for me which is my beloved Pittsburgh Penguins.  I’m pretty familiar and decent with Windows Movie Maker so I was thinking of making montages/tributes of the team.  As far as topics, the sky really is the limit here.  I can do long videos that cover the team’s previous season that ended with a championship, a look back at the last decade or so that focuses on the team’s success, or even a made-up story about some of the players.  This would be more difficult since there aren’t many clips about hockey off the ice that aren’t interviews.  A story I definitely would want to try is a weekly video focusing on the team’s whereabouts so almost like a “day in the life” story, only I would do it on a weekly basis.  I would cover games, specials occasions and any other happenings with the team as the season comes to an end.  I feel this would fit well because the season ends around the time the semester ends so I can close with an introduction to the playoffs or something like that.  I think this approach would force me to be constantly working on the videos which is better than doing everything at one.

Web 2.0 in Higher Education

I felt particularly drawn to this section in Alexander and Levine’s article but that could be because I’m attempting the creative writing concentration.

In Dr. Whalen’s 202 class, Writing through Media, we were talking about the Matrix and different means of transmedia.  One interesting point came up and that’s the uniqueness of this forever evolving transmedia and it’s impact on the movie business.  Up until this media age, movies were classically made, so to speak, with very strong plot lines and character development.  After so many years, these plots and characters get redundant.  There are only so many ways you can tell a story in its simplest form.  But with Web 2.0 and transmedia, there’s a whole new side of storytelling to explore that feels almost infinite.

Keeping that in mind, I feel like we can definitely use this to approach creative writing classes in different ways.  So far, my creative writing classes have been workshop related.  Essentially, the old-fashioned route: write a story/poem, everyone reads it and gives positive and negative feedback, the author rewrites the story/poem and that’s it.  I really liked the idea of using Twitter’s 140 character limit as a means of creative writing.  There are so many new things that Web 2.0 has given us and I feel that using them would not only benefit students because it keeps them up-to-date with what is new in the web world, but it keeps things interesting and different.  That always makes for a better classroom environment so long as everyone understands what is going on.  As a creative writing concentration, I’m always up for new ways of approaching creative thinking since creative thinking should always be changing.  And as we all know from the article, Web 2.0 is something that is constantly changing.

Titanic

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Digital Storytelling 2.0

I’ll start this blog with my example of Digital Storytelling:  YouTube.  When I think of the meaning of digital storytelling, it’s not really an act of telling a story but the way it’s being told, namely, digitally.  When you go onto YouTube, you have instant access to millions of stories within every video.  Each of these “stories” are done in a different way.  Some of these videos are rants about politics or happenings in one’s daily life.  Other videos are tributes to favorite sports moments or teams.  The list goes on to include just about any topic known to man.

We all know that YouTube is digital because it appears on the internet, but what this does is it makes it accessible to everyone.  Unless a video is flagged as “18 and up,” anyone can watch any video on YouTube, and thus, be exposed to the many stories that have been shared on the site.  This accessibility is what makes the “digital-ness” of YouTube, in my opinion.  Often, you will see video responses to YouTube videos.  This just adds to the storytelling aspect of a digital story.  The story (YouTube video) doesn’t have to end once the video is over.  This is what makes digital storytelling so unique.  It seems like we can stretch the meaning storytelling to become so much more and help/affect so many more people.

Ironically enough, I feel this fits in with what I got out of Tim O’Reilly’s essay.

This was actually my favorite article among the ones we have read in class this semester since I really had to think about an answer and not have to worry so much about understanding the content.  I really spent a lot of time looking at the chart that compared and contrasted Web 1.0 and Web 2.0.

I’m taking the class “Writing Through Media” with Dr. Whalen this semester and a discussion about the growth and purpose of this new age of internet has come up.  The way I see it (and the way our textbook sees it) is that this new age is focused on the involvement of everyone else and tying the world together through media/internet.  We can do this now because our internet is that advanced.  When you look at the differences in the chart between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0, the most glaring are ones that changed because they now have more participation from people.  For example, Britannica Online is now replaced by Wikipedia.  What makes Wikipedia what it is is that it can be changed at any given time by anyone.  While this can result in some mistakes in certain pages, it keeps pages up to date.  Just yesterday, there was a big trade in the NHL and when I went to look up one of the players, his page already noted that he was on a different team.  Changes didn’t happen like this with Britannica.  This makes Web 2.0 more accurate and convenient to use.

Augmentation of Society

I, like many of my classmates, had very mixed feelings about this article.

My first attempt in understanding “Augmenting Human Intellect” was heading toward the conclusion and this sentence really stood out:  “This is an open plea to researchers and to those who ultimately motivate, finance, or direct them, to turn serious attention toward the possibility of evolving a dynamic discipline that can-treat the problem of improving intellectual effectiveness in a total sense.”

An open plea.  Sounds desperate.

After getting a better feel for the article, I was surprisingly intrigued by Engelbart’s proposal.  We all know that computers have quickly become not only a useful tool in research but also a timesaver.  So a program that could essentially solve society’s problems should be of great help to society and the rest of the world, right?  This made me think a little.  Time is of the essence these days; the invention of fast food, cars, computers etc. have all helped us add some time to out busy lives.  With computers essentially ruling out and solving our problems, it really would save us a lot of time.  Also, looking at the characteristics of a computer, just as we have frequent update reminders, a Engelbart’s program would also remain up to date as the times change and new problems arise.

But then I go back to this “open plea” business.

Is it really that much of a burden on our lives that we, the ever-so-flawed human race, have to solve our own problems in a non-programmed way?  While this is a fascinating topic to look into, it makes me think of the movie A.I.  I can’t help but feel that while this idea may lead to quick fixes of problems, it takes away from something that makes the human race so unique from the rest of the world:  emotion.  On top of that, how boring would this world be if every problem was solvable with the click of a mouse?   What would be the point of living and growing?

A Thought from the "Other Side"

Reading these articles and listening to Gardner Campbell’s talk was definitely a different experiment for me, especially since I am seeing things from the perspective of an English major.  That could be a reason why some of Campbell’s ideas weren’t working for me.

In his article, Campbell talks about students designing their own personal cyberinfrastructures.  Obviously this is important as we are in a modern technology-ruled era, but there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to let go of the simplicity of the pre-computer age.  I feel a lot of this is because of the many implications that come with depending on technology.  For example, in class on Tuesday, I believe it was  the cPanel that was down.  This completely disrupted the progression of class and we had to try and figure out what was going on.  Things like this happen which why I hesitate in depending too much on my laptop.  During class, my laptop completely shut down for no reason and wouldn’t turn on.  Naturally, I freaked out because of all the information my laptop holds.  Again, I’m depending on a media that can act up on me and essentially screw me over when I need it the most (like homework assignments).  Even amidst a digital age, how can we guarantee the success over something we cannot always control?

Back to the idea of students designing their own personal cyberinfrastructures, I do think this is important.  Is it absolutely necessary?  Not really.  I think this should really be the decision of the student and not a requirement.  Some people (and I know of some) really don’t want to be immersed in this digital age.  While they may be at the short end of the stick with that decision, I think it’s a choice a freshman in college can make.  As someone who studies more about the past than the future, learning about multimodal writing really doesn’t fit in my curriculum.  If that student really isn’t dedicated to learning about this, then why waste anyone’s time?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a full believer in teaching students the importance of understanding what computers can bring to the table, but a part of me still hesitates when we talk about the power of computers when there are many, many bugs that need to be fixed.