I have made the decision to put my website online at this very minute! I fear that I will forget to post my link up tomorrow since I have my last exam that I will be furiously studying for all day. SO THIS IS THE GRAND REVEAL. Please take a look at it if you have time. 🙂
I would like to note that NO, I could not solve the chronological order problem! I was able to fix it on Evernote but since Postach.io is a new website, it does not illustrate those changes on their own website (and I do not have access to the source code because I am on the ‘free’ account). So I hope the backwards order does not confuse you too much. Also, for some reason, Postach.io does not register the formatting in Evernote so you may notice some inconsistent fonts but I assure you that I have attempted many times to fix this but have come to the the conclusion that it’s just one of Postach.io’s many kinks that need to be fixed.
I would like to thank Lara and Ariel for editing my project! And most importantly, to Professor Brown! All of your input has really made me take a closer look at my project (and even at travel blogs in general!). I have really enjoyed working on this project and I love how it turned out (even if it doesn’t match my standards). It has even inspired me to create a new travel blog, which I will post here once I have written the first post! Now if you will excuse me, I have a suitcase to pack and some travel writing to do. 😉
What I learned from this class:
- Digital writing is more than just writing on the internet (or should I say Internet). We learned about different kinds of interfaces, languages (XML, etc.), and concepts that go into digital writing. There is so much that we could talk about!
- Video games are more than just games! This class made me reconsider the textual aspects behind games and has definitely given me a new appreciation for Grand Theft Auto 5, haha.
- Brilliant programs such as Zotero! I now use this whenever I have to write a bibliography (it makes my life so much easier).
- Terminology matters. Internet or internet. E-books or ebooks. WHO KNOWS. But that’s what we got to figure out.
- It has transformed the way we look at writing (and how we do it too!), my project on travel blogs has made me reconsider travel writing and the differences it possesses in comparison to travel writing online. THERE’S A HUGE DIFFERENCE.
- Digital writing as a research topic is still brand new! Which I guess is not so surprising considering it started only a few decades ago. Reading through my travel blog articles, a common statement was how research on travel blogs and its readership and authorship is still lacking in research!
- Digital writing is a sharing experience! You can get other people to edit an article through comments and suggestions by posting it online before it’s a finished product (work in progress is okay too!) or even if that collaboration takes place in person! Which we experienced with the peer edits on our projects.
- It is so relevant to where we are at in terms of the progress of technologies and publication on the internet that we should take the time to learn about all of the subjects we touched on in to greater detail. We are in the internet age so we should know more about it!
I completely forgot to create a post about this last week so I am going to do that now.
I REALLY ENJOYED THIS WEEK’S GAMES. Sure, I didn’t play them for that long but I did read their introductions and just really connected with the issues that they were discussing.
Tampon Run: Menstruation really is such a hidden topic in our society isn’t it? It’s like there’s this unsaid rule that we shouldn’t talk about it in public, not even with our fellow female friends and ESPECIALLY boys. I never quite understood this. And I even realized that I would be shy to talk about it (but I’ve thankfully grown out of this). I remember in past discussions I would tend to say my “woman time”, it’s like I had the biggest struggle to say PERIOD. It was so easy for me to say “oh yea, you need a period at the end of that sentence” but god forbid that I say “HEY GUYS, I’M ON MY PERIOD”. It’s messed up really. And I really liked how this game addressed this issue in regards to relating it back to how we are open about discussing violence and guns and it appears in a bunch of our video games and other cultural references, BUT ARE PERIODS AND TAMPONS TREATED IN THE SAME WAY? Heck no. So I found this game opened up that territory beautifully.
I think my favourite part about this game is that it echoes back to retro games. WHICH ARE MY FAVOURITE. They follow a similar graphics concept, choice of music, and the fact that the game has a sole objective which many of the older games tended to do, which is to shoot at your enemies and destroy them before they destroy you. The music and graphics also reminded me of the older Pokemon games that I used to own on my Gameboy Color (which I still have) which is another reason why I enjoyed it so much.
I also really liked how this game was created by two female creators (girl power!). And the intertexuality with their “profiles” is quite clever. DID YOU NOTICE CHEWBACCA? Very nice touch.
And one last point. The fact that this game is free is great, but Ariel brought up a really good point. SHOULDN’T TAMPONS ALSO BE FREE TOO? #ArielForPresident
LIM: Now this was another great game. Although it did give me a heart attack when I first got attacked because I didn’t expect the sound to be so loud CONSIDERING HOW SILENT THE GAME IS OTHERWISE. This is another game that points to violence and how it can occur whether you stand out or blend in, only when you are with your same coloured squares are you actually safe. And this can refer to a lot of contemporary issues that we deal with in our society today. But before class, I was talking to Ariel and she mentions how we both struggle with this concept, the ability to be able to belong to our own one coloured square. We are both mixed so obviously parts of our families are of different ethnicities to each other. We can’t really belong to one half more than the other. We can’t blend in with them either. So either way we stand out from both sides of our families, and in turn, we stand out in society. You have no idea how many people have called me “exotic looking” or said that “I look prettier than if I were to be full asian or full white”, it’s quite surprising and also pretty sad. So I really connected with this game on a personal level which I am sure we all can to a certain degree.
A few points in Kirschenbaum’s talk (Distance Mirrors and the LAMP) made me rethink a few things about the internet and how we use it. But firstly, he distinguishes the difference between ‘World-Wide Web’ and ‘Web’. People usually put the two together and assume that they mean the same thing. This makes complete sense and to be honest, I also made the same mistake. Kirschenbaum mentions how ‘Web’ refers to the “older” form of the internet, when there was the debate between using Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator. He refers to this form of the internet as the “flatland”. Which was quite amusing to me because it reminded me of how we used to refer to our own planet. We believed that the world was flat when indeed it was round this whole time, it has dimension! And this is kind of how I imagined the Web was like, as just this simple bone structure of its potential and the meatier parts haven’t quite been developed yet. And then I think about the concept of the ‘World-Wide Web’ and it’s completely true! Over the years, the internet has globalized. We are able to retrieve information from the other side of the world, we are able to communicate with people from different countries, and we are able to share in this global experience and experience things in real-time.
Listservs was another component that Kirschenbaum introduces to us. It was the “real backbone of scholarly communication” and that was fundamentally what the internet was mostly used for. With listservs, “you didn’t have to worry about how many followers you had or if you were popular or pithy enough to be retweeted. You didn’t have to ask someone else if you could be their friend in order to converse with them”. And I found this to be an interesting way to look at the transformation of the internet. We are so concerned with social media and the social aspects of the internet, but in comparison with the early years of the internet it was all about information and the sharing of our knowledge. Do you think we’ve strived far from this or has the internet only added features that can assist us with sharing more information? Personally, I don’t know which side we are leaning with but I do know that the sharing of information has not ceased. I’ve joined many listservs with the university and receive daily emails from numerous organizations and it’s funny to think that this was one of the “original” features of the internet and it’s still apparent today!
Here’s a preview of my project on travel blogsssss (it’s still a work in progress):
In Fitzpatrick’s chapter about authorship, I already found myself intrigued with the first page. Writing wasn’t ever something I fully enjoyed especially in comparison to reading. I found it to be a judgmental space where people would nitpick at the little things (it’s ironic how I ended up as an English major because that’s exactly what I’m doing with other people’s writing) and yet people described it as a place to express yourself where you are allowed the freedom to write whatever and however you wanted. Fitzpatrick brings up the idea that Western society has associated authorship with this idea that it has to be original, completely creative, productive, and that YOU are associated with your writing. YOUR REPUTATION IS ON THE LINE. And I realized that this is exactly what I associated with writing as well. I feel like I’m not creative or original enough to write anything special that hasn’t already been written about before (But that’s not what it’s about, is it?). There is no better author. And it doesn’t have to be an individual process if you don’t want it to! I always found collaboration a huge advantage when it comes to anything in life, whether it be for studying or coming up with an idea or just talking through life’s problems. And the digital world and its technologies has encouraged this even more, especially when it comes to writing. We can share! Sharing is okay! There are so many digital platforms out there that allow this collaboration to take place, such as Google Docs. I would throw an essay on there and I can get as many people as I want to read it and share their ideas about improvements, etc. Now through the discovery of all of these different platforms, writing has become something that I am rethinking of experimenting with, not just alone but with other people too, and that is what this chapter aims to do: to “demonstrate why thinking about authorship from a different perspective — one that’s always been embedded, if dormant, in many of our authorship practices — could result in a more productive, and hopefully less anxious, relationship to our work”.
One aspect that Fitzpatrick mentions that digital writing has transformed is that it’s not just about the finished product. Digital platforms have introduced new forms of writing, such as the blog, which is a prime example of how writing can be an ongoing process, it doesn’t have to focus on when it is finished. People can continuously comment, the author can continuously link different things to their posts, and there can be a continuous amount of versions! Blogs expose the variety of steps in one’s writing and this is something that we will have to get used to when using certain platforms which Fitzpatrick states in his article, “even more frighteningly, perhaps, we’ll have to become willing to expose some of our process in public, to allow our readers — and our colleagues — to see some of the bumps and false starts along the way.” I experienced this anxiety when I created my first travel blog (and my first blog!) while studying abroad last semester and people could see my observations, my thoughts, and how I produce my experience through weekly posts. Some days I cared more about the finished product but some days I didn’t and there would be posts where I wouldn’t edit them and just allow the posts to stand as they are because it showed my initial thought process. So blogging has definitely taught me how to show my process and to not be afraid of it.
One other aspect that I really liked that Fitzpatrick brought up is how “digital technologies in scholarly publishing will allow us to begin to shift our thinking about the mode of our work away from a uniform focus on the text-only formats that scholarship has traditionally taken, encouraging us instead to think about the ways that our work might interact with, include, and in fact be something more than just text”. Digital texts are usually hypertexts where they include multimedia and other characteristics aside from plain text. This can also support the idea of collaboration, how we can use other people’s research and thoughts and add them into our own writing. They can complement our own work. And this illustrates how even though we may write a blog individually, we can still collaborate with others in subtle ways.
Reading Gitelman’s article on PDFs really made me reflect on PDFs as a digitized text but also in how we view and use it. When we go on our library website to search for journal articles for projects, etc., the academic website always gives us an option on how we want to view the text. We can view it through HTML, download a PDF version, and whatever other alternative formats. I always tend to choose the PDF option and reading Gitelman’s article made me realize why I constantly make this decision. Gitelman mentions how that “PDFs variously partake of the form and fixity of print that other digital text formats frequently do not”, they look exactly like printed text as if it were in a book right in front of me. It gives us this impression that it functions similar, if not exactly, like printed text, and this is what gets me. I never enjoyed reading literature from a computer screen or any other kind of e-book format (although the Kindle is starting to convince me otherwise) and always opted for the printed version, which explains why I am constantly choosing to read things in PDF files.
Cunningham’s article on fragmentary reading also points out our reading habits in regards to the design of how text can be displayed. A lot of internet articles are broken up with hyperlinks or videos or images or advertisements, that we don’t even notice how this format is its own genre. It has been integrated into our daily lives that it is now a form of writing that we take for granted and don’t really notice anymore. For example, twitter is a platform that promotes fragmentary writing since we are only allowed a certain word count per tweet. So if someone had a long story to say, their message would be broken up into multiple tweets instead of being displayed as one huge blurb in a single space. I find this interesting because it makes me reflect on the previous readings that we did, especially when we analyzed the Network Effect. It mentioned how we all get easily distracted on the internet to the point where we have become accustomed to having this habit of having low attention spans if something doesn’t capture our attention in a few seconds. So this article touches on many things, not just our reading habits, but also how writing in the contemporary period is changing. Fragmented writing is completely normal! And I believe it is one of the defining features of digital writing.