Author Archives: klpatrick

As the end of the semester approaches, it is time to reflect on all the things I have learned in this course and try to reiterate and take it all in one last time before finals arrive, brain turns to mush, and I continue on with other DH courses. Throughout this course, I have been blogging twice a week.  Once about Digital Humanities and and how it relates scholarly work and to my interests: fitness, social media, pop culture, and coffee.  The open posts  (about my interests) on each virtual Friday (and the means of communication—blogging) helped to improve my knowledge of blogging, public writing, and the connection between writing and my life.

Before taking this class, I had never blogged before.  I had read blogs from friends, explored Tumblr, and Pinterest.   Although these blogs are more visually focused and do not pertain much to the writing focus in my education, it helped to build a foundation of what comprises blogging.  When I began blogging for this class, I felt like I was just writing a paragraph to cover a topic for class; however, as the semester progressed, I felt that my writing/blogging became more personal and I was writing with a specific purpose for an intended audience.   As I began to write with more purpose for my audience, I also tried to communicate my thoughts in very simplistic forms.  Since my writing was going to be placed in a public setting, I became more aware that the people reading it might not have background information on the field or topic that I wrote about.  For example, I am very passionate about fitness and always search the Internet for new workouts; within the last year I have become interested in Tone It Up (TIU).   In this post, I talked about how TIU is a DH fitness company, but before I could explain how it all connected, I needed to briefly describe the company.  Being able to understand the importance and when to use this explanatory, simplistic type of writing has been crucial for me to understand because in future careers I will need to be able to relay difficult, lengthy information into content that is applicable to a general audience.

Aside from focusing on the purpose and audience of my writing, I have also seen improvements in the creativity in my writing.  I’ve noticed that I pay more attention to my audience and try to incorporate more first person experience in my writing because I can tell that it draws more students in and makes them want to comments on my posts. Towards the middle of the semester, I tried to pick topics that were interesting and exciting for me to research.  Choosing topics on my open posts that related to Facebook, Twitter, coffee, fitness, and pop culture were not only interesting for me to research, but it also grabbed the attention of my fellow students and I could tell that more students were commenting on these posts.  My post from last week had a lot of comments—I think it had so many comments because it combined social media and coffee into one big, visual infographic.  Since these topics were interesting for me to read and I could easily relate to them, it made it much easier for me to incorporate the creative writing; these are topics that I am passionate about and interested in.  They make me excited to learn, which is then reflected in my writing.

As I continue to write about these topics that interest me, I think I have gotten much closer to deciding what I would like to do after I graduate.  I’ve been debating between social media marketing, public relations, and multimedia production.  The open posts on Friday helped to show me what I am most passionate about—fitness.  I think I would like my future work to encompass something fitness related.  I’ve found that it is the topic that I enjoy writing about the most and I genuinely enjoy learning about fitness related topics and interacting with people—it seems to be the perfect fit.  Being able to write freely for the Friday open posts really helped to clarify this decision.  Aside from making this decision, the open posts also helped with my communication in general; I’ve noticed that when I am trying to relay difficult, lengthy, and detailed information that I really think about how I can best clarify and communicate the information using the least amount of words/least confusing combination.  Improving communication skills in my writing during the blogging related to being able to communicate more effective verbally in other areas of my life and has been very beneficial.

For the future, I would like to continue with this writing process, but focus more on the fitness related writing.  Throughout this semester, I’ve found that I am most interested in that field and would like to explore this various types of promotional writing, design, and social media aspects of various areas in the fitness field.  I think being able to experience all aspects of the public relations sector for the field that I am most interested in prior to graduation will help me decide if this s truly the field I am most passionate about and want to continue to work in.  I am hoping that once I take the 480 class, I will be able to focus in on this field and continue to progress with the writing improvements that I have already begun in this class.

Social media explained through coffee?  Can’t complain about that!



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(It wouldn’t let me embed the video or upload to slideshare–here is the link: Speech Accent Archive)

After researching the Speech Accent Archive and listening my classmate’s presentations, I feel like I have gotten one big overview for the definition of DH and how it applies to the real world.  I think each project touched on a different definition or aspect of DH.  Each definition can relate to the “Scholarly Primitives” that John Unsworth wrote about and within each of the primitives, there is a specific connection to DH.  Through my own project—and editing within my peer group—I learned about the influence of technology on the humanities.  In previous years, the humanities would not have been able to reach such a large portion of the population, but the accessibility that comes with the use of technology within a project has allowed the authors to reach a larger portion of people.  The accessibility factor alone makes a huge impact on each project.  Another trend I saw was collaboration; many of the projects allowed for people to submit or add to the project so it was continually being updated.  Humanities prior to the digital age would not have bee amble to accommodate for this type of collaboration because many of the artifacts were printed, making it impossible to add onto a project.  Although the projects could be used as references, the possibility for a project to be out-of-date on a topic was highly likely; however, with the advancements in technology in modern societies, it is more likely that people will have a greater and faster access to information, which leads to more collaboration because each person can submit ideas or share the topic through social media websites or something as simple as e-mail.  Much of the increased accessibility and collaboration of projects today is due to the increasing use of digitalization of the humanities, which influences the whole idea of DH.



Alright folks, bear with me on this one.  Today we’ll be discussing a political conspiracy theory.

To give you a little background, this past week, I’ve been using a lot of design programs at work to fix my boss’ business cards because the printing company make an error on the company address.

So, when I went to work on Wednesday, the topic of politics and design programs were brought up and my boss brought my attention to Obama’s birth certificate.  My boss works with a few design programs, like Photoshop when editing promos and posters for bands.

As we got to talking about politics, he mentioned something about the layers on Obama’s birth certificate.   He had made his own website discussing it, but also sent me the link to this youtube video that discusses Obama’s Birth Certificate.

I haven’t done much research on the topic either, so by no means am I an expert on the topic, but I do like hearing both sides of the story.  What do you guys think?

I hoppedTumblr on Tuesday night and was bombarded with posts about Barack Obama.  So after seeing that, I logged onto Twitter and saw a bunch of hash tags; I clicked about five down to a hash tag that read: #ImSickOf.  I thought that it might be interesting to read through them, so I clicked and scrolled through.  About three scrolls down, I came to a very alarming post from a user named @Shelly_Smyth.  I clicked on her name to see if the post was a sick joke and much to my surprise, it wasn’t.

According to the information at the top of her account, Shelly is a 14-year-old blonde girl and One Direction fanatic and according to her posts, Shelly is extremely racist.  So I continued to scroll through and was disgusted by the posts I saw, many of which sounded something like:

If you wish, Shelly has lots of posts (I warn you now, they are very vulgar) that you can check out to inform yourself more.  I decided to post this because even though we often see social media as a great way to market/promote something (especially during the election), it’s also important to remember that there is always a negative side.  This account and among many others (look at all the retweets and favorites from just this post) are bashing groups of people for what a trait they cannot change.  It honestly disgusted me to read these posts and see all the posts that were supportive of this young girl.

Although there were rumors about the account being a fake, no proof has been shown and the posts continue to come.  I think this all ties into this week’s post because:

  • Shelly mainly talks about politics in her posts
  • Her mode of communication is via social media
  • She is using the connectedness of DH to spread hate.

It’s a shame to see such a young girl posting such ignorant, racist things and receiving support from thousands of people.

This girl has tweeted hateful, racist comments to Barak Obama and other African American people with twitter accounts, like 50 Cent.  So, my question for you all is, do you think there should be a way for people to monitor something like this on social media? Where is the line between ethics and freedom of speech??

Since the articles for this week have been talking about online learning, I decided to do my open post on the same subject.  Below is a video that I feel pretty much sums up what happens when I have homework online and stumble onto something that “looks interesting”:

I thought this video represented the things that usually distract me: food, drawing, and technology.  I typically find technology to be more distracting. Perhaps it’s the media lover in me, but I’m always checking out Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, and the news to see what has happened so far that day.  Although this is great for mental stimulation, it’s not so great for my homework.

I’ve found that if I am working on my homework, it’s better if I plan out a set amount of time to focus on it and sit down with Pandora, I get much more accomplished.

Limiting the distractions and setting up a space where I solely focus on one assignment with minimal distractions has definitely made a difference in how long it takes me to do my homework and the quality of work that I am producing.

I chose to read “Tweeting the Night Away:  Using Twitter to Enhance Social Presence.”   The article discussed the social connections that are made between students and teachers and how the connections enhance the amount of knowledge that a student will gain from making the formal/informal social connections that face-to-face students often achieve with course instructors.

The study specifically looked at Twitter interaction within one group of voluntary students.  The students were asked to “follow” fellow classmates, instructors, and two-to-three field professionals.

Each student was asked to log onto twitter three times per day for two weeks.  After this initial period, if the students did not feel like the tweeting was beneficial to their education, they could stop the usage.

A majority of the students that stayed on the website noted positive results at the end of the semester and said that it helped them to build an online, social connection with fellow students and professors.

I think that using Twitter as a communication medium for online students is innovative; however, I personally do not think that it would be difficult for me to utilize for questions.  Anytime I am trying to clarify information from my professors, I am usually looking for more detailed responses and specific questions—perhaps something that cannot be stated in 140 characters.

I can see how utilizing Twitter can be beneficial for social interaction/awareness of other student’s activity, but I don’t think that it is as discussion oriented as a blog or lengthier posting forums.

I think the utilization of Twitter in an online section is a quick, easy way to connect students, but I also think that the effectiveness is dependent on the demographics and needs of the users/group; for example, online students are looking for a way to create social connections with other students and professors who have restricted availability hours might turn towards tweeting as a means of fast and effective communication.