Archive for March, 2012

3/27 Reading

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

In Nicholas Carr’s article “Is Google Making us Stupid?”, he  states that his ability to read has transformed as such: ”Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.” This made me question how the Web has effected my will to read an entire article, as opposed to just reading the headlines. Fortunately, I’ve been using my Google RSS feed since January 19th, and have compiled a fair amount of statistics regarding my trends:

all charts represent the last 30 days

Subscription # Read % Read
Subscription # Clicked

Although most of my attention is dedicated to a sports blog, I still feel like I get a fair amount of reading accomplished, rather than skimming or just observing headlines. Does anyone have any suggestions of something new to subscribe to that jogs the mind more than

James Farmer Group – Progress Report

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

My group has pretty much stayed on target in terms of our project time line listed on our contract a few weeks ago.

These are the things we will be working on for the remainder of the semester:

We have summaries of the lectures on Google Docs that just need to be uploaded to the site. We need to compose a short biography of James Farmer. We need to discuss who we are and why this project is important to us and how it will benefit everyone else who visits the site. We also are thinking about creating a tag cloud of some sort or even create categories for our selected stories that also gives the view another way to access our information. And we need to share relevant links as well as give credit to contributors that made our blog/information/video possible. And last but not least, we want to begin to cut video for our promotional trailer.

We have the final design of the website, which I have been in charge of all semester long. I would like to change and tweek a few things on the site within the next week or so.

- First I would like to post all of the summaries of the lectures (perhaps editing them all to sound more consistent with one another, seeing as Caitlin, Michelle, and I all had written multiple summaries for multiple lectures)

- I want to make the video of the lectures appear larger on the page

- I want to put up final edits of the transcripts (maybe not by this week, but begin the process)

- I want to somehow make the menu across the top screen extend all tabs across to fill the entire menu (there is only a small space left on the right side!)

- I want to connect the same video and audio lectures via links within each page/post

- I want to clean up the quote plug in on the left side

- Once the selected stories are uploaded to Vimeo, I would like to begin to post them on the website as well


Serenity Now/Tutorial

Sunday, March 25th, 2012


My twist on the assignment. Not necessarily a “Serenity Now” therapeutic video but maybe someone finds it comforting…

My idea came from those 10 min memes which repeats a  short clip for, of course, 10 minutes. One of my favorites:

Serenity Now – Black Knight


It’s not hard to make a video like this. What you need is to find the clip you want to use. you could rip it from using pwnyoutube or another program. Then you edit the clip how you want it. Simply trim the clip. Then you want to copy and paste the clip so it fills up 10 minutes. It could be hundreds of times. And don’t expect anyone to watch the hole thing, but putting a little Easter egg at the end could be a little funny. For the “serenity now” part you want to add a serene audio track to the video. So mute the clip and add the audio track behind the video. It’s pretty straight forward in Windows Movie Maker, the program I used, and maybe even easier in iMovie.



Scene Essay

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Here’s a short video essay of a scene from Orson Welles’ “comeback” film Touch of Evil. This scene, the opening shot, is one of the most famous in cinema history. The reason because for nearly 3 minutes and 30 seconds there is only one take. Welles uses a tracking shot to take us from a car to the US/Mexican border. By using this specific technique Welles is able to set the environment for his film entirely in just a few minutes, the oping minutes at that. The conflict that the film surrounds is the radical differences between the two countries, the juxtaposition of American culture on o a downtrodden, meager border town. Through this forced influence this town experiences nothing but corruption and violence perpetuated by a once glorified American policeman who now is just as infested by the town he runs. This shot is able to capture all of that and more simply through the use of cinematographic techniques.

There are a couple of films that I reference. As a film auteur, or artist, Welles uses techniques and themes repeatedly throughout his work. His most glorified film, Citizen Kane is an easy example to pick from. This film influenced countless of films and continues to do so. It offers so many groundbreaking and creative camera angles and shots that one can spend an entire semester studying them. Welles recycled a couple of things that I mention in this shot. One is the tracking shot, which shows depth and tension. The other is audio layering, which is also another technique  that adds tension to a scene. Contact (1997) uses this technique to add a sense of depth to the beginning of the film.Robert Zemeckis utilizes both a long tacking shot and the audio layering, just as in Touch of Evil. The only difference really is his use of CGI. But, in essence, we have another example to suggest that everything is a remix. You can even see inspiration from Kubrick’s masterpiece 2001 in this particular take.

As movie goers I think we overlook far too many techniques and lose the impact a certain scene is supposed to exert. Nothing is taken for granted in making a film due to the strict budget (sometimes far too strict – as in Welles’ films). Therefore, neither should we. This opening tracking shot is a perfect example of how and why a director would spend so much time and effort into one shot, long or short, technical or simple.

E-Portfolio: A Work in Progress

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

I am a little late posting about my E-Portfolio because I still have a lot to work on. Here is what I have so far: Laura Donahue’s E-Portfolio.

I have emailed my boss from my internship at the Fluvanna County Historical Society because I need photographs from when I was creating exhibits for the museum from the past two summers. There are some books and newspaper articles that I would like to collect and post on my website as well.

I would like to post my thesis abstract, include forums I have attended and presented research at, including my thesis in the Fall 2011 History Symposium as well as the Women’s Study’s Forum last week. I am also considering putting up my previous courses and their descriptions – I may just have to pick the courses that are relevant to what I want to do for my career.

I am actually really excited to continue working on this portfolio. Not only is it important in order to get a job after I graduate with my Masters in 2013, it is also a great way to see how much I have accomplished already. It’s hard to gauge what projects I have worked on already, and this is a great systematic way of doing so. The fact that it is also incredibly easy to update with current projects and information is incredibly useful and important.

Black Swan

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Dr. Alexander’s presentation on the future of higher education was the first keynote speech that I’ve been to this semester. The audience included President Hurley, Jim Groom, Dr. Greenlaw, a few classmates, and Andy Rush streamed the whole presentation live via the web! Dr. Alexander not only lectured, but also included the audience, as he implored us to collectively answer questions that he posed. He asked us to identify trends that we see in technology, and people put forth answers such as Spotify, Paypal, and I talked about RSS feeds. He also talked about the “black swan” phenomenon, which he defined as any event which happens completely out of the blue that makes a significant change socially, in technology, or culturally. I found this especially interesting, and it reminded me of my friends who aspire to play the stock market one day. Dr. Alexander also asked us to imagine ourselves 10 years into the future, and spoke about how he imagines that libraries and schools will shrink in numbers, as the world becomes more reliant on technology. It is exciting to think of how technology will impact education in the future. Video games will become more pertinent in the learning process, and children will have access to MASSIVE online databases. Overall I really enjoyed the presentation, and it seems like Dr. Alexander is a great guy and admirable scholar.

Digital Portfolio

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

This past weekend our lacrosse team played Marymount University in DC, and I stayed in the area after the game to meet with a few former players regarding a job interview I have at the end of this month. The guys I met with gave me great insight on what to expect in the interview process, and provided some information that will be crucial to review prior to the 30th. They also convinced to make a Linkedin profile…. I thought this was great because not only is it an important networking tool, but I thought that it would satisfy our digital profile requirement for this class…. Now looking back on these other posts I’m beginning  to realize that I need to create one through umwblogs, which is fine as I’ll be able to include more information and customize it better than what Linkedin offers.

DS 106 Radio Show

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

The Live Outdoors was an outdoor radio show that featured several well written and edited segments. The first segment was a call in to Bear Grylls. The way they did this was very clever. The group used sound bits from the show to answer random question. Of course the answers to the questions were in not at all helpful and sometimes taken completely out of context. The questions ranged from what to eat out on a first camping to where to sleep and Bear answered with seemingly outrages answers that were far and beyond what was necessary. Their use of sarcasm here was brilliant because Bear Grylls is offering advice to viewers as if they were to find themselves in his situation. The chances for utilizing his advice, at any point, are – and I really don’t have to point this out – but extremely slim. So the group did well to emphasize the absurdity (as well as utter brilliance) of Bear Grylls.The tent review was also great. It was well written and sounded rehearsed. Which is a good thing in a radio show as the delivery was perfect.

To criticize the show I would have to point out that at certain times the sound levels were not corrected. Recording was done on several differ mics in several different rooms, perhaps outside as well. In the context of the show the change of “scenery” serves The Live Outdoors well. But it is important, with anything related to sound, to have good, consistent quality. What the group did that was consistent was great sue of sound effects. Foot steps, car engine noises, streams running and fire crackling were inserted into the show with great precision and accuracy. It gave the show depth and kept it entertaining. There was also a neat little (big) plane crash that the group had done with mixing layering different effects to give the effect of a plane crashing. The ending was very smart and creative, they pulled it off terrifically with numerous sound layers, reverberation and static noise.

Overall I thought the group did a great job executing their idea of an outdoors radio show. It was very funny, sarcastic and interesting.


Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Today’s lesson plan was especially pertinent to my current situation, as I have a job interview at the end of this month. Just last week I scoured my facebook and removed pictures that I felt weren’t appropriate for my possible employers to view. Also I recently created a twitter account and have tried to stay mindful of how I interact with other people.


1) Having no digital identity or footprint on the internet is a negative when potential employers search your name.

2) It is possible to manipulate how people find/view you on the internet.. ex) purchasing a domain name and creating your own website.

3) Be mindful of your digital footprint.. Luckily the stats i’ve accumulated on the lacrosse field fill in the majority of my DF, and my facebook and twitter accounts are buried deep in the pages of google.

4) One way to rid yourself of a negative DF, is to create material that is positive.

5) Be mindful of privacy settings on social networks, and watch out for hackers.

Also I hope everyone has UNC going all the way in your brackets.

Digital Identity

Monday, March 12th, 2012

The Rise of Alter Egos in Everybody’s Space – Kim Hart

This article, written in 2008, discusses the ways in which Facebook and Myspace users have adapted to an increased availability of personal information on social networking sites. Since this article is dated a few years back,  there have been a few changes that need to be addressed. Myspace is now a music site that allows users to have access to bands from all across the world that are signed or unsigned – many of which have become famous and well known because of Myspace’s music demo and full song software, allowing anyone to listen to clips and full songs of Myspace band users. This site is now just used for music promotional purposes. Facebook has now gotten increasingly better with it’s privacy settings since 2008. That all being said, the article does bring up good points about the emergence of ‘Social Networking Alter Egos.’

Things I have Learned

- Many people have created new identies and profiles on Facebook, because of privacy content. I have Facebook friends who have completely changed their names, deleted and re-activated their profiles just to keep their privacy under control – especially as college seniors, when looking for jobs and graduate schools, the party pictures and personal information could make or break you as a potential employee/student.

- These new profiles emerging can be seen as positive an negative – positive for the protection of personal information and keeping work and play separate. Negative, because it redefines idea of networking in a broader sense.

- That people really do not explore the privacy setting enough. If people wanted their information secure on social networking sites, there are ways to hide almost EVERYTHING now. And if people are still concerned about privacy, it might be easier to stay away from social networking sites.

On Disturbed Presence (And Blogrolls) – Jean Burgess

Burgess discusses Blogs as a form of social networking, connecting people with similar interests via blog posts or blogs themselves through blogrolls (which, in 2007, were becoming irrelevant) and the emerging popularity of the RSS feed.

Things I have learned:

- Well, I learned what a blogroll is – it’s a list or set of links that connect to other blogs, generally with similar subjects or interests.

- The article, written in 2007, discusses the decline in the need for blogrolls. With the emergence of the RSS feed, who needs a list of blog links, when you can read all of your favorite blogs, without even clicking on the links?

- Although this article is a few years old as well, it does hold some valuable food for thought. When we have massive amounts of data and information we find compelling or interesting, we need way to organize it. The way we organize our internet networking – in this case, blogs of similar interests – is always in a constant state of evolution. With new ways of  networking, new ways to organize interests (photos, blogs, social networking sites) emerge.

Digital Resume – Hire Hassan 

Seeing as we have to create a digital resume for the Digital History class, I figured it would be a good opportunity to check out the example Professor McClurken gave us. Unlike the Hart article i discussed earlier, digital resume’s are a way in which to use online networking to not only to show potential employers important personal information, but to gain their interest in new and creative ways.

Things I have learned

- Keeping the page very clean, easy to read, short paragraphs, and having multiple photos is important. We discussed this in class a few times:  online asthetics are just as important as the information on the page when trying to draw potential employers.

- That you can allow your creativity to give you an edge with a digital resume that is harder to do with resume on paper.

- An aspect of the digital resume that really interest me was the blog feature. it gives the employer an idea of current events you may be involved or interested in that keeps the resume fresh and updated.