I’m reading through the final posts and looking for the one that mentions the uptick in use of social media during the elections. (I should have made a note when I read it.) The post mentioned something about how this election has claimed more attention through social media than any other election. That is true – some of that is purely a numbers game. The number of users of all types of social media has increased dramatically since the last election, so it is reasonable to assume that the number of users following the election will be higher. The number of tweets on election day is just as much a product of the fact that more people use Twitter, as it is about election coverage. The increase in the percentages of social media users following this election compared to the past elections or events may be a more accurate comparison than just a user count. It’s a bit like comments that there are so many more car/deer crashes than in the past. That is true – but again – part of it is a numbers game. The deer population is higher than it has ever been AND there are more cars on the road, traveling more miles than ever before. Even the probability of hitting a deer goes up. So, we have to be sure we are comparing apples to apples when looking at the numbers.
Although this class has taught me a lot about blogging my career in public writing did not begin here. The first time I ever blogged was in Matt Livesey’s class freshman year. We had a choice of where we wanted to blog and what we wanted to blog, he was happy as long as we posted one paragraph each week and commented on a few others as well. I think that this type of freedom definitely allowed us ease into the world of public writing and flourish on our own time. Here is a link to my Blogger account where you can find multiple blogs I posted all throughout my first semester in addition to one in particular about a soda company commercial. (http://fuax-promises.blogspot.com/2011/10/not-for-women.html) I think this post is a good example in general because of how I wrote it. I stated that “Since the commercials first started airing at the beginning of October the perception ratings of Dr. Pepper have decreased detrimentally and not just from women although their ratings went from 32.9 to 18.4 (which if you didn’t notice is almost a 50% decrease.)” Although, I did do research on the subject and posted a fairly good analysis I think that it is lacking professionalism and content that would make it much more interesting to readers who may be concerned with that kind of stuff rather than just some students in my class. I believe that I simply added too much sarcasm, for example asking, “Did Dr. Pepper have a death wish here?” I relate this blogging to this class because I think it helped me develop from semi-serious writer to the more professional writer I have become this semester. In the few months that I have started blogging on wordpress I think that my content and professionalism has increased a lot. I also think the subjects that I talked about definitely improved as well.
For example, in this Post (https://engl335digitalhumanities.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/the-effects-of-social-media/) I talked about the effects that social media had on the election. I found articles relating to my post and discussed important topics that matter to people. Such as “I’m pretty surprised that twitter didn’t crash with the overload of opinions, thoughts, and ideas all coming in at around 65,000 tweets per minute.” Although, it doesn’t seem like this would be that important to some people I think that to people who are involved with social media and care about its effects on events would find this really interesting and important. I also think that I kept my post more interesting and professional than the other example that I provided. It is definitely one of my favorite posts from this semester just because it means so much to the world, in relation to the elections. One of the most important quotes is this “If there is something to know or something to see all it takes is a simple click or a share or a retweet for anyone to be caught up and see what is going on. Social media now has such an impact that it can either make or break the way people are perceived not just by people on the internet but by people who dont use it too.” This is important and factual and I think it demonstrates how much the internet effects everything. I wrote this post on the 12th, which was less than a week after the elections with an awe-inspired mind because of the article I found. I cant even explain how it was written because I think I did it so fast I hardly recognized what I was writing. The subject matter of the post was just so interesting to me that I wrote down my findings and my opinion into one content crammed interesting post. The article I read stated that this election was the most tweeted, blogged, and posted about election that has ever existed. I found this intensely interesting because I’m pretty much interested in anything that is remotely web related. Re-reading this article I think I’m actually pretty surprised at just how excited I was about this new idea that the web can decide how an election goes. This is such a new concept that I’m pretty sure everyone had to step back and realize how far the internet has come and where it may be going in the future. I really liked how I commented on the fact that President Obama had a better chance of winning because of his involvement on the internet. By doing this I think he connected with people my age and allowed us to see what he was all about. Its funny to me how social media pretty much relates to anything these days and can be used for almost any purpose as well. I learned these lessons in this class this semester and will continue to learn these things, I’m sure, as time goes on and I further my education. I think that this important distinction between my professionalism and subject matter was definitely influenced by this class and what we have learned. If not for this class my content may have continued being about nothing instead of blogging about interesting world events that make a difference.
I think the thing that surprised me most about this semester was how much I learned about blogging. Blogs don’t just have to be personal diaries for people who have nothing else better to do. They can, in fact, be very useful and full of interesting content that can help enlighten people about new world events or just provide an insightful thought about the subject. I surprised myself by coming up with interesting blog subjects that weren’t about me personally but about other worldy topics that were still interesting and fun to write about. Honestly, in the beginning of the semester I was worried that blogging would be boring because we had to stick to a certain criteria and blog about what the professor told us to blog about. However, I was pleasantly surprised that I had fun blogging and commenting on others work even without it being my own personal diary that I wrote about. I had a lot of fun this semester writing for this class and seeing what everyone else wrote and I hope that we can continue blogging and having fun while doing it but also posting interesting subject material that can be viewed by everyone and liked by everyone too.
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.
Over the course of this semester, my classmates and I have been posting on this blog, referring to the assignments given in our Critical Approach to Digital Humanities hybrid class. This was not my first time blogging for a class, but I still had/have much to learn about it. For my open posts I mainly chose memes, websites, and news articles that related to my knowledge of the Digital Humanities. My most important goal is to make a definition of what I think DH is, and this class has helped me get closer to reaching my goal by forcing to do my own research, but the blog helped me see what my classmates were discovering and I found that to be very helpful. Using the blog for class assignments was also helpful in improving my public writing and developing my voice.
A few of my beginning post were not very detailed and it resulted in comments that had questions asking me to further explain what my post is about. After “practicing” posting and reading other’s post, it became easier for me to see what type of information was necessary to have a blog post that was brief but still very clear about the reasoning and idea of the over all post. This open post from the beginning of the class is an example of somewhere that I really could have gotten into depth. Instead I just assumed that my audience would know where the image came from, what my thoughts were on it, and how it relates to DH. The image was simply from a Google search and I was drawn to it because I saw it as a visual definition what I think to be Digital Humanities. The photo is representing a classroom and the volume symbol is showing that it is virtual. I could have expanded even further by relating it our hybrid class that is participating on this very blog. Those that go to class and those who are online students never meet, but on the blog, it feels to me at least, that we are all the same. For example, I am just as likely to comment on an online students post, as I am to comment on someone’s post that I see in class. When learning is cybernetic, everyone is essentially equal and this reminds me of the open and sharing attitude of the Digital Humanities. Later on I started to find things that reminded me of DH and that also related to my life, like this post with a “Y U NO?” meme. It may not be my prettiest post, but when you read it, you know exactly why I chose that meme. In this post, I made myself vulnerable and shared tweets from my personal feed and account to help demonstrate what I was talking about. In both my open posts and directed post, I slowly built up my voice and also raked through my interests that relate to the Digital Humanities.
When scrolling through my blog posts, there really isn’t much sense of a theme besides the common subject of the Digital Humanities. I am really still in the beginning staging of understanding the field, but I know that it is right for me because I find almost every part of it fascinating. The multitude of opportunities it has the potential of presenting me, gives me security for the future that I am comfortable with. What interest me the most are the projects that we recently studied; they are what I find to be the most important part of DH. I see social media being a part of DH as well, but I think that it kind of fits into the category because of the big data that it creates. DH has much more potential than just counting the amount of pictures on Facebook and weeding through all of the tweets about an event. Sure these are important aspects of DH and they help us learn about us as a society, but I feel that it almost “cheapens” if you will, the definition of Digital Humanities and it has not yet been set in stone. I see the networking to be an outlet for discoveries. Websites and blogs like ours that are collecting history and information is what drives the success of the field. Being an admin to this blog helped me work on my public writing, but it also helps clear my personal pathway to the definition of Digital Humanities.
Oprah Winfrey, or who ever she has hired to tweet for her, has made a slight error..
The “Surface” is Microsoft’s new tablet that Oprah has added to her “Favorite Things” list for this 2012 holiday season. She even compared the tablet to a Mercedes! When the extra step was taken of spreading her love of the product to onto twitter, who ever posted the tweet about the tablet, did so from their iPad.
The end of the article does describe how bloggers are noting that twitter is still in the process of creating an app for users of Windows 8 (the operating system the tablet uses) but the internet is always a critiquing setting.
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:
This is a website I found that shows the top 7 digital humanities projects. These kind of relate to the project that we just did, some even look a little familiar but I wasn’t sure if anyone picked those websites or not. It’s interesting to look around and see what we could possibly be doing with this concentration!