Author Archives: Marisa

One of the main requirements for this class was to write a weekly blog. Often we were requested to write a structured post and an open post. I mainly blogged about social media, specifically Twitter. If it was for my open post it would be my opinions on Twitter, my personal tweets or things I’ve learned from Twitter. If it was for my structured post I would blog about studies done involving Twitter. I’ve blogged about studies, infographics, and surprisingly politics. My writing has improved over this semester and it has affected not just my school life but my personal life too.

 

My writing has definitely improved over time and it’s mainly because I became more specific with my writing. I did this by learning how to insert links. In my first blog post “Testing, Testing 123 (Hope I’m doing this right!)” I wrote, “I created my own blog on blogger and wrote whatever came to my mind.” I should have linked to that specific blog in that sentence but I didn’t, I didn’t even think of it. When I began to insert links I just copied and pasted the URL into my post but eventually I learned how to link it to a specific word and have since gone back and fixed all of them. I used to find all of my information on Pinterest, in my blog post “Why Every Digital Humanist Should Own This Book” I wrote, “Then one day, on Pinterest where everything magical happens…” There is not a whole lot wrong with that except that it’s not effective to get all of your information from one source even if the information being contributed is from multiple people. Eventually I learned to search for other sources, and I learned how to work WordPress and I even blogged about things I never thought I would.

I do not like politics it is the last thing I want to talk about. But I surprised myself this year by actually blogging about it a few times. Honestly if it wasn’t for the election I probably wouldn’t have, but it was the first year I could vote and tis the season right? Of course it wouldn’t be a post of mine if it didn’t involve Twitter. My post #election2012 analyzed the connection between Twitter and the election. I noted “Tuesday evening I did not watch T.V I didn’t have to everything I wanted to know was being posted on Twitter. In I only found out Obama won because of Twitter.” Which is all completely true. My mindset was I don’t care about the speeches and the policies, I don’t want to watch CNN I just want to know who wins. With Twitter that was possible. If I was going to blog about the election I was going to blog about the social media side of things. I loved that this election was the most tweeted about subject in the history of Twitter. I loved all the memes that came out of it. I even found a study filled with inforgraphics on how Obama was reelected. The use of social media made this election bearable for me. Being able to write about it showed how much I’ve changed this year.

 

My writing this semester has grown from opinion based to research based. I’m so used to the easy way out, I didn’t mind writing the open posts, especially in the beginning when I was on Pinterest all the time and blogged about whatever DH thing I came across. I went from doing the bare minimum to actually digging for topics to write about. It effected my life beyond school because it made me see Twitter in a new light. For me it was always just a post whatever is on my mind sort of thing. Now I realize that Twitter is useful in many ways. Whether it is documenting trends, finding statistics, or stimulating conversation. I’ve used social media more for classes this year than personal life; I tweet for homework! Whenever people hear that I’m tweeting or using Facebook for school they become skeptical as to whether I’m actually learning or not. My mother definitely does not understand it. What people don’t realize is social media is useful for more things than just socializing. We use it to document life today. I never even thought blogging could be used for school until I came to Stout.

 

I would think that my writing goals for the future would be to get people to understand what digital humanities is and how we can use social media for more than just pleasure. Though, that may ruin it for a lot of people. This course taught me a lot of things including how to write for an audience. I’m pretty sure someone who wasn’t even in this class commented on my blog. I will definitely continue to blog in the future.

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I think I may have figured out why I love Twitter so much. It makes me feel like I am in the loop; I know things before the news does. For example have any of you heard of the comedian Jenny Johnson? I have been following her since this summer. She tweets at celebrities she hates, she insults them but never really expects a reply because they see a lot of tweets. However, she did get a reply from Chris Brown after tweeting this:

And that started a huge feud that was talked about on E! News AND Chelsea Lately, and I saw it all happen on my phone. When I saw it on TV I was so excited because I already knew what happened, like I had bragging rights to it.

Here is some more of their exchange, WARNING its vulgar:


The mature DH project that I evaluated was Looking for Whitman: The Poetry of Place in the Life and Work of Walt Whitman. You can view my presentations here:

What I liked about my presentation is that I included background information about Walt Whitman specifically for the class. I mentioned during my presentation that it was not included on the website, it was just meant to help them understand why four universities/colleges would want to make a website revolving around him. I think I did a really good job with the weaknesses and strengths. I know people generally start with the strengths but I found more weaknesses than strengths but I still wanted to end on a positive note rather then seem like I was bashing the project. I wish I would have included screenshots of the actual website but at the time I thought they were all bland. I am glad I picked this project I feel like I really connected with it. The students put a lot of effort into their work and though many of the links were dead, many of the tabs were repetitive, the posts on the main page were dated, and the project was dropped when they graduated they still worked hard on it while they could.

I really liked the Slave Voyage Project. I feel like this is really DH because it is history, of our country, but turned digital. That is the very essence of DH. On the main page you can pinpoint countries and it tells you their history revolving around slavery. Its incredibly interactive and informational.


I know I know it’s not like it is breaking news to say that Twitter runs the world, but after posting about the election I truly realized how much Twitter runs MY life. I don’t watch the news, unless you count E!, I don’t watch debates, I don’t read the newspaper or articles on CNN. I look at Twitter. I learned that Halo 4 came out on the same day as the election. Do I care that Halo 4 came out on Tuesday? Not really but it’s news to me. This article talks about how important the sharing of news is. However, I think it is interesting that this study was done is 2011 and written in 2012 and it’s already out of date! It says “At the moment, Facebook and, to a lesser extent, Twitter, dominate this intersection of social media and news.” We all know that Twitter is in the lead right now, it is just funny how technology changes so quickly the studies are out of date before they are published.


This presidential election has been the most tweeted event ever in this history of Twitter. Twitter ruled this election, the instant one of the politicians made a mistake it became a meme on the Internet whether it was a binder full of women or comforting Big Bird. Every time I looked at Twitter, especially within the last month, all I saw were political opinions. Tuesday evening I did not watch T.V I didn’t have to everything I wanted to know was being posted on Twitter. In I only found out Obama won because of Twitter

This is just part of my newsfeed from Tuesday night. New York Times tweeted this really interesting story about how Obama was re-elected. Here is where you can take a look. The thing I found most interesting is this article says the young people’s vote is what really mattered. Romney had a huge shift as seen at the top of the page but it wasn’t enough. Young people were still voting for Obama and I fully believe that if young people weren’t so motivated and passionate about voting Obama would not have been re-elected. The young vote helped him win the swing states he needed to be re-elected. Also noted in this article the hispanic vote really helped grant Obama his victory. There was a significant increase in the hispanic population in Florida from 2008-2012. The fact that he gained the Hispanic vote helped him win Florida all around. The only reason I know any of this information is because of Social media. I found this article because of Twitter. I was surprised to learn some people’s views, I would never expect certain people to have the beliefs that they do but I know now because of Twitter, and it’s shocking. This is just another aspect of Twitter you learn a lot about a person from their tweeting.

 


I found a really interesting paper on how teens use and feel about social media. The full report can be downloaded from this page as well. A group of teens between 13 and 17 were surveyed and asked a handful of questions. The most interesting one I thought was ‘Does it (Social media) make them feel more connected or more isolated?’ Another question was ‘Better about themselves, or more depressed and lonely?’ I have seen studies before where they explored the emotional damage things like Facebook can do. Many teens felt bullied because of social media but bullying was not the only problem. A lot of people feel left out because of social media. You see all your peers posting pictures and hanging out and you aren’t with them you can feel bad about yourself. Which is why I thought this paper was interesting because it explores the more left out side rather than the bullied side.


I read the article “Tweet, Tweet, Retweet: Conversational Aspects of Retweeting on Twitter” by Danah Boyd, Scott Golder, and Gilad Lotan. Twitter was released July of 2006 and you can only use 140 characters to send your message. Though it is like text messaging in that sense it differs because the whole world has the potential to see it. It is a microblogging site. You can post your opinions and people can ‘comment’ on it by tweeting at one another. Sometimes I use Twitter to talk to my friends, I tweet at them specifically if I find something funny to show them or if I just want to say hi. which I can easily do over text but Twitter is more fun. Twitter differs from other social networking sites in the sense that you can follow someone but they don’t have to follow you. On Facebook if someone’s profile is private you can’t view it unless you are friends. You can view their profile and they can view your’s, it is an equal partnership. However, with Twitter you are able to see someone’s Tweets when you follow them. They do not have to accept your request, unless they change their settings, its automatic but it does not have to reciprocal. The article expresses the importance of retweeting. There are many different purposes for retweeting, I retweet funny facts or things comedians say that remind me of my friends. The article uses the example is retweeting for social action. I follow One Tree Hill star Sophia Bush on Twitter and she is a huge activist. For example in the recent Sandy crisis she tweeted and retweeted about ways to help the victims. She constantly tweets about politics and major issues in the world. People can retweet things until it trends and becomes a popular topic. People can ask to be retweeted to get their cause out there and known. By retweeting people can be in a conversation in not even say anything. I am a huge fan of tweeting, it really can change the world. Is has profoundly affected the presidential election this year among various other things.