Last week into this past weekend, we have completed and handed in our final website project. This semester went by so fast, so fast. I guess in part due to the amazing group, that had time flying by. The project was time consuming and some mornings/interviews felt cumbersome at first, but always managed to surprise. A building never seemed so intricate, then when you study its origins, features, and documentations. I hope that our work will, and can be used for many different aspects of future. We handed in our project over the weekend, and have received the corrections needed back. We have a lot of tidying up, with small or overlooked aspects. I am heavily impressed with the thoroughness Professor McClurken has taken for our web page. I am positive it will be that much more impressive and rewarding in the end. Can’t wait for what lies ahead.

Readings this past week were on the importance and uses/growth that Digital History has had for the History field as a whole. From the importance of student blogging read on a blog called Blogging for your Students to the impact of growth found by correlation to the Accecibiity of ‘Digital History’ in a post titled “Digital History Reader”. Over all the sources seem to be covering once again what we have touched upon frequently in this class and classes prior, the blessing and the cures that is ‘digital’ history the abundance and the availability the strengths and the weaknesses that historians have more recently encountered.

The past week in Group work: we mannaged to finally get an interview in from a librarian stand point, we filmed our walkthrough of the HCC and have been working on many aspects of videos, and the web-design.

The past few weeks have been amazing, with the project all things seem to be coming together. We managed to finish up all of our planed interviews, and are now looking to see if we can/should be outreaching to any other interview candidates. We have also been working on many aspects of our website, I am astonished of the progress and ideas that the group has tackled. The visual aspects of the site are melding and provide pride for calling it ours.

With all these aspects and branches of our videos and documentations its feels good that we now have most all the ingredients to make our website everything we wanted it to be, and quite frankly maybe more.

Text Mining is often used in a way to find questions not answers. From an old time of historian, thinking ‘I dont have enough documentation (information)’ to the more recent ‘I have an abundance of documentation (information)’. Its amazing looking at how far we have come, yes that is a loaded statement… some might ask ‘how far with what?’ or ‘whose come?’ but that is the beauty of it. Text that brings questions forth, text (i.e. information) that provides more then clues or answers to questions… rather text used to widen the field of questioning.

“My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles.” a generation of instant gratification, and lost attention span, I found this post particularly interesting as it depicts the fact that the internet brings forth a place that when utilized correctly can be an unmatchable aid in research and finding relative information for all branches of study and curiosity. The way I think of this illustration is the classic saying ‘it’s a blessing and a curse’.

Never the less how do we use the information provided? How do we utilize what we have read? I think being aware of the generational falters, but also take on the tools that are available. To not be bogged down by an abundance, rather to strengthen through knowledge.

Readings for curiosity:
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/306868/
http://programminghistorian.org/lessons/topic-modeling-and-mallet

With the exponential growth in technology over the recent decades it is clear to see, the world around us has changed greatly. From the beginning of the internet, to the flourishing social connectivity it has become and provides. The benefits with the growing fields in technology seem to have an endless cumulative significance to many aspects of everyday life, from friends to work and studies creating a Digital Identity.

As an individual living in this technologically inclined society we need to ask: How does this all affect me, and what is my digital identity? To answer these questions I have to take into account all aspects of my limited tech-savvy life style. The most popular place to look into for an individual’s Digital Identity would first be Facebook. When looking at my digital social media history Facebook, Instagram, and videos, I have no harmful posts, or pictures that would hinder any sort of resume or background search. In the past I have not written posts about anything derogatory or anything towards an individual or group calling them out. I have made very few posts, mostly pictures of family or church gatherings on facebook, and what I think to be artistic nature posts on Instagram.

When looking at all other aspects of my social identity, or parts that are not controlled by myself, maybe a few newspaper articles in some town archives where I grew up showing patriotism or honoring a trip to a national choir competition. Also there would probably be some articles on my Year of full time volunteer service through City Year and how I was the Keynote speaker, and some school archives probably have my name in some graduation database. I know that I personally need to start building and working on my professional Digital Identity to round my online image.

In the next week or so I will be working on my digital Resume, working and thinking about what and what not to include. Also, this will have me thinking of who or why I am making the resume for. Updates to come.

The past few weeks have been a blast, as far as our project is concerned, dismissing the snow and weather. We have had the privilege in taking a tour of the entirety of the ITCC, from the man with the key to every room, the head of the ITCC. The tour was amazing from back rooms with masses of technology to the little perks and specialties that can be located or seen throughout individual rooms. The tour showed us the vast opportunities provided by the auditorium, from a large room for events to a click of a button to operate a set of fully functional bleachers to the broadcasting capabilities of a University show.
Another great step we took towards our goals the past weeks was taking a class to verify/certify our use of the Green Screen room (Video Production Lab) and the sound booth room. Not only do we plan on displaying the capabilities of these rooms, we plan on using them. The class was full of equipment and safety knowledge along with a wide array of excitement.

Change, an idea that has plagued the heats and minds of people everywhere for all time. From change in social equality and standards to the change in technology we face each and every day. This week we were tasked with watching and reading up on a new era of change, a change for the world of digital information. “Creative Commons License”, this concept is growing with the demand for less restricted information and a wider yearning of shared sources. Wikipedia is one of the most popular modes of Creative Commons usage, ranking in the top 50 websites visited. Now with our website in mind and our use of Creative Commons material may be but not limited to web videos from youtube to vimeo to shared information gathered on our topic from UMW websites to information gathered from documents and emails during interviews.

This week’s blog was a large step into the use of an actual online tool, mapping or timelining. I used Timeline JS3 to complete this task and found the work more tedious then difficult… then again I don’t believe I utilized more than a fraction of the sites possibilities. For some, a task such as this one may have seemed easy or redundant. In my case, this task took time to comprehend and even more time to produce something that was any where close to working. If I understood what I believe to be the method of embedding my time line here it is:

If not then here is the link to the timeline: My Timeline

I chose to timeline my years after highschool graduation, this way the information was simple and not another thing to worry about on top of the actual development and creation of the timeline itself.

Taking a look as a group to the entire set list of web pages we were assigned to surf, we find a mixture of helpful and not so helpful tools and utilization of web-space. Together we came to a conclusion that (http://dsl.richmond.edu/) showed an all around intuitive and user friendly format, that offered creativity and information in abundance. While on some of the sights we found their ideas are great but didn’t hit the mark for example; 1919 Molasses Flood site looks good as an initial concept, but appears to be poorly executed and difficult to navigate. Overall this list of sights gave us adequate in sight to the possibilities for our group project. An inspiration we have would to utilize the idea of displaying the buildings lay outs though virtual mapping similar to the Valley of Shadow (http://valley.lib.virginia.edu/), maybe even adding video formatting.

 

Other thoughts:

  • Digital Scholarship Lab is very well organized, visually wonderful, and has a great mix of AV and text information. A+ in all categories.
  • Imagining the past is well executed and doesn’t suffer from being somewhat plain.
  • French Revolution website uses colors that lack contrast, text covers images, no neutral color space, the alignment is off, and the font is difficult to read. Each takes a chunk out of the experience.[
  • Emancipation website is a strange mixture of visually bland and intuitively confusing although for content it is bursting at the seams.
  • Slave trade link is broken, hopefully it’s not lost forever.


This week we were assigned a list of websites to look through and pick apart, in order to get a greater understanding for the creative possibilities to further our options for the final group website. After looking through these sights I realized the potential for the site, and it is honestly a bit exciting. One of the sights (http://republicofletters.stanford.edu/) really showed the wide range of historic portrayal capable through a single web page. With mapping, links, and captions. Another page I looked at was the winner of the DH (digital History 2014) award for best data visualization. With this award/title I expected to be blown away, but maybe had expectations that were to high. To me the sight seemed basic, and I will admit it is probably because I do not know what it took to create the visuals, and the interface. The sight seemed to be filled with hyperlinks and the information that is provided seems to be scares. The site that surprised me the most was (http://dsl.richmond.edu/april1865/) this site offers an amazing visual aspect that was not met by some of the other links provided. The layout of the site is very simple and clean while also providing an intuitive interface that can be utilized without strain. I am not yet sure what parts will be able to utilize in our group project, but after looking through the catalog of websites proved I am now optimistic of our endless possibilities.