The time has come to conclude the blog for 2010! I have to say I have exceeded my personal expectations regarding my performance throughout this course. I will admit – there have been some stormy seas, especially because I am probably the most computer (especially Mac) illiterate person I have ever met. That, along with Karla’s random departure (essentially leaving Jo and I to fend for ourselves), and a few other hiccups, gave me the impression from the outset that I was doomed for failure. Instead though, I have developed a certain set of skills and literacies throughout the duration of the semester which I feel will help me in the long run:
In terms of the Blog, I feel that my attention to upkeep, as well as my development of skills, were quite remarkable considering my usual levels of apathy regarding such activities. I was quite cynical of “blogging” as a publication form prior to beginning my own blog – now I love it! I have even started another blog, also entitled “Quiet Minute,” which serves as more of a constructive/analytical space for me outside of Networked Media. I liked maintaining this blog, though, because it essentially gave me a platform whereby I could work through any issues (technical or otherwise) I was having with the course material or skill set I was required to develop. I found particular relevence in the ability to link one page to another – usually an external image or source. This, as I discovered, gave me a lot of contextual grounding for the Essay and Hypertext Assignment, which I will discuss in more detail later. I found it quite easy to categorise my blogs, and got a quiet sense of achievement whenever I did something even remotely more complex than just writing and posting. Like making a tag cloud for example! Thereby ticking one of my self assessment criteria off the list. I actually enjoyed the blog test, because it gave me the confidence I needed to tackle the final leg of the Hypertext assignment. My total number of entries over 12 weeks amounted to 49, which averages to around 4 per week. This level of active participation was also one of my criteria for assessment, and I believe fulfilled it successfully. Another of my criteria involved writing in different styles, and I believe I also achieved this. One random day, I discovered a comment (more of an enquiry) on one of my posts from someone I had never met, which was left in Russian. Using Google language tools, I ended up responding to this blogger in (terrible) Russian, thereby ascertaining my stance as a blogger on a global scale! Hooray! I also tried to upload videos of my slow descent into insanity (made progressively throughout my creation of the Hypertext page), however they were too big to upload straight onto Wordpress! And given a severe lack of time, I did not end up compressing the videos or putting them on a host site – in all honesty, it probably wasn’t worth it, and I looked hideous. However, I did find that the video entries gave me some sort of clarity in terms of my thought processes, and I will endeavour to continue with this on the blog next year. I tried to keep my subject matter as interesting and relevent as possible (another of my criteria), primarily by avoiding random or inane chatter about social networking sites or other seemingly “age-ist” topics (another criteria). Instead, I made every effort to apply what was learnt in class/online to real life scenarios or situations where they became relevent, and this can be found within the twelve entries at the bottom.
In terms of the 1500 word essay, for which Jo and I (and Karla..?) decided upon the second topic, I am still dissatisfied with my performance. I presumed that the essay would be my strong point of the three areas, given the lack of experience I had with HTML, blogging and other aspects of applied online media. I aimed to introduce the pro’s and con’s of blogging as a publication form (focussing also on Links and the way in which they can both faciliate/hinder the relevance of blogs in the public arena), however, my points were apparently not as clear cut as I thought they were (or perhaps they were too critical of blogging?). In an effort to produce an original essay, I ended up with an “awkwardly constructed” thoughtpiece which lacked in adequate evidence despite HEAVY citation! I thought my mark (a Credit…shudder) was a bit harsh at the time, however after taking on a hefty role in the application of our Hypertext Essay, I began to see that my points could have been more clearly crafted towards a common idea with my other group members from the outset. And, in my defense, it was a high credit. So I can still get to sleep at night.
The Hypertext Essay was by far the most challenging aspect of Networked Media for me this semester, but it was also the most rewarding. Being in a partnership with Jo (rather than a…quartet?), we found the division of work to be quite easy. Jo was happy to combine the essays in terms of content, and I would tackle the Hypertext Essay in terms of HTML (based on a common concept), which came about because of our personal levels of comfort with each medium. We edited one another’s work and previewed the publication together, so while we worked within different areas, we maintained high levels of contact and ensured that we were in sync with one another’s point of view.
The concept, as it pertained to the passage we chose, combined many elements from lectures, tutorials, online content, external content, other blogs and the basic course material we had studied. We wished to combine focus on the presentation of non-liner Hypertext content, which was facilitated by the use of links. In doing this, we aimed to physically USE links in the way we had DISCUSSED them being used within the essay – in other words, completely decentralising the content, providing an “exploratory” atmosphere for the viewer and generally providing a comprehensive description (and example) of Links across a variety of platforms. All of our images were sourced from the royalty free website morgueFILE.com, and because they were only used as thematic background images, they were cited through a link from the homepage. I spent a lot of time familarising myself with the presentation of Hypertext within coding programs such as Textwrangler, and in doing so, became familar with the idea of frames. I do not have access to Dreamweaver or any other coding software, so I had never heard of this before. I wanted to have two frames involved in the homepage to create a sense of spatial montage that was complimentary to the MANY USES OF LINKS (faciliating all sorts of wonderment on the web), and I believe that by linking one frame to the next, I achieved this. More on the Haiku motif and the other conceptual/technical aspects of creating the page can be found in the list of submitted blogs (see below).
Blog 12 is this one, if I recall corrently.
ENJOY INDIA NATE! Later dudes.