Wikipedia Module Progress

My first step was to set up a Wikipedia account and ease myself into the mechanics of editing.  I first added some updates to some biographies, both of which appear to have stuck.

I then decided to up the ante and attempt creating my own Wikipedia article.  I asked a former teacher turned principal for permission, which she graciously granted, and began gathering some research and articles to ensure I could add credible citations.  I then used the Wikipedia articles on creating a new page and formatting to begin creating an article.  The raw input can be seen below.

My third editsBut almost immediately after publishing the article, I received a warning, which stated, “This article may meet Wikipedia’s criteria for speedy deletion as an article about a real person that does not credibly indicate the importance or significance of the subject.”  I contested the speedy deletion and formally argued my point’s regarding my subject’s significance on the talk page, garnering a reply from another user, who asked. “What reliable sources do you have that indicate that these increases and changes are enough to make her notable at a national or global level?”  I then began linking items in my article to established Wikipedia page, added more of my subject’s various awards, and added to my references list.  Alas, to no avail.  The next morning I checked my page and found the following announcement.  “Sorry, this page was recently deleted (within the last 24 hours).  The deletion and move log for the page are provided below for reference.”  Interestingly, the user who deleted my page was not the same user who had been communicating with me on the talk page.

I have heard that creating Wikipedia articles is an arduous task that some feel is rather unfair, and now I have experienced this process myself.

 

 

 

Explaining Neuromancer

Our Digital Archaeology group decided to create a gif set.  Four out of the five members had been a part of the  gif module, and thus had a fair amount of experience making gifs.  The goal was to use repetitive visual imagery in a creative way to express some of the main aspects and themes of the book.  We used clips from existing media to allow viewers to compare these newly presented ideas to familiar ones.  For example, we used cowboy imagery to depict Case, visually describing some of his major character traits (reserved, effective, dark past).  We also used visual imagery to illustrate one of the most famous lines in the book: “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.”  Such comparisons and visualizations were also used to depict the novel’s coverage of artificial intelligence, cyberspace, and other concepts.  By using these comparisons and visualizations, hopefully viewers can have a better idea of what topics, ideas, and places are depicted in Neuromancer, by allowing them to reference these aspects to known ones.

This gif set can be found at the following link.

Responding to Neuromancer

Neuromancer provides intriguing insight into the predictions, concerns, and thoughts of a time that is on the cusp of the digital age.  Gibson’s book provides a dark vision of the future world, filled with drugs, casual sexual encounters, and an underworld of technological crime.  It’s interesting to see that Gibson’s imagined digital crime scene is so tangible and dramatic, linked with drugs and heists and danger (as opposed to today’s most unfortunately common identity theft).  While part of this may be simply a way to drive the narrative forward, it may also hint that he and others during this time believed that these various types of crime, despite their differing contexts, would come together in a similar atmosphere.

Another interesting aspect to consider is a historical one.  While geopolitical affairs are not at the heart of story, the few conflicts that are mentioned are telling.  Armitage was supposedly a part of a conflict involving Russia, reminding us that this novel was written in 1984 during the Reagan administration, which briefly heightened the Cold War.

Technological crime is also depicted as very action-oriented.  Case is a sort of cowboy in the digital world, harkening back to a very glamorized portrayal of a man-of-action, often seen in Westerns.  While the heroes of these stories were often flawed, they were depicted as “doers”, even if they participated reluctantly.  It’s interesting to see Gibson bring in these classic narrative elements, and apply them to a novel that helps establish a new genre of cyber punk.

This hints at the relevancy of the novel, even 30+ years later.  Our modern understanding of hacking and cyberspace are very different from how they are portrayed in Neuromancer.  But despite this, many of the themes and tropes Gibson fleshes out continue to be explored by modern sci-fi films and novels.  A reluctant digitally savvy protagonist is seen in popular movies such as The Matrix.  The dangers of artificial intelligence are seen in I, Robot.  This last aspect in particular demonstrates some common concerns across generations.  Could humanity be threatened by its own creations, similar to how Cronus overthrew his father, and was in turn overthrown by Zeus?  What is sentience?  What is free will?  Can they truly be created?  These questions, raised by Gibson, continue to be pondered today.

 

Animated Gif Module Reflection

Over the course of this module, my main goal was to learn how to make gifs myself in an easy and reliable manner, hopefully allowing me to contribute my own artistic tribute to my favorite fandoms.  My previous experience with gifs was workable, but was a more tedious and involved process.  Using Jim Groom’s BavaTuesdays site as a launching platform, I found giphy as a faster and easier alternative.  I experimented with the site extensively, cranking out 18 gifs over the course of this module (which can be found here).  My early gifs were largely attempts to isolate amusing moments in a repetitive manner.  In contrast, my later ones focused on the more artistic side of giffing (the verb form was named the 2012 Oxford Dictionaries USA word of the year), finding repetitive moments that could be looped in a way that made them appear continuous and fluid.  The practice helped me develop an eye for these moments, and hopefully allowed me to become more adept at making the corresponding gifs.  This makes me feel optimistic about incorporating giffing into my collection of hobbies (in addition to meme-making and video-editing).  By that standard, I would say that I successfully reached my goal of mastering a very efficient way to make gifs.

I also found some interesting background information on the gif (through Jim Groom’s site and reputable sources in the Wikipedia references section) that helped provide a “big-picture” view of its usage as a medium.  I was less intrigued by the origin of the gif, and more interested with how it became popularized in its modern form.  Looking at its incorporation into Tumblr and Facebook, it became clear to me that these online forums democratized the gif.  Easier ways to share creations with the world helped popularize the gif, and popularizing it no doubt contributed to the development of online gif-makers.  As such, almost anyone can successfully make a gif, and most active internet users have at the bare minimum been exposed to gifs (whether or not they recognize their label).  This popularization even culminated in a  major dictionary recognition, solidifying the gif’s popularity in the 21st century.

Overall during the course of this module, I developed a newfound respect for the gif.  It’s much more than a gimmicky device.  By isolating a moment and repeating it continuously, the gif invites us to analyze and appreciate the mechanics of a scene, thus providing a very intriguing artistic aspect to the gif.  These isolations can also be used to provide commentary that better expresses reactions (one of the weaknesses of an online setting) in a funny or even insightful way.  Its democratization as a medium allows the public to mine these moments for themselves, thus individualizing the gif while retaining the ability to share it with a broad audience.

Animated Gif Progress Update

I decided to research some background as to the development of the gif, focusing more on how it has become popularized as opposed to its origin.  I used some more information from Jim Groom’s site, in addition to the references section of the Wikipedia gif article.  I learned that gifs had a popular resurgence in 2007 with the creation of Tumblr, and were named Oxford Dictionary’s USA Word of the Year in 2012.  In 2015, Facebook became gif-compatible (thus allowing me to share my newly-created gifs).  It appeared to me that as gifs became further disseminated within the public culture, it would make sense for their creation to be democratized, through platforms such as giphy.

In addition to gathering this background information, I also focused on polishing my newly developed looping gif creation skills, creating six additional gifs, which can be found at the link below.  This brings my gif total to 18.

http://giphy.com/channel/annarinko

 

 

Animated Gif Progress

In beginning this module, my main goal was to learn how to better produce gifs.  I’ve enjoyed searching for them online as their own miniature art form, often in the context of fandom.  Recently I’ve become (ever so slightly) obsessed with the show Xena: Warrior Princess.  While I do not have a Twitter account, I often visit AUSXIP GIFing Xena, which publishes gifs from the show a few times a week.  I’ve also used some generic google searches to find other Xena-related gifs.  Often they’re funny and can help punctuate a point in online articles or forums.  They can produce a reaction with words…

Winning…and without.

I’ve had some previous experience with gifs before in the mini version of DS106 that was held at the UMW Summer Enrichment Program.  Working with Jim Groom, we learned to produce gifs using mpeg streamclip and GIMP.  While I was able to successfully create a gif, the process was rather tedious, and I was not familiar with the programs.  In starting this module, I figured that the best place to start would be on Jim Groom’s BavaTuesday’s blog, as he often posts some of his latest work with gifs.  I read his “A Fistful of Gifs article” (http://bavatuesdays.com/a-fistful-of-gifs/), which recommended Giphy as an easier way to make gifs.  So I started experimenting with making gifs with the site.  I originally tried uploading a file directly, but it was too large.  I then attempted uploading an edited file, but the “browser was not supported”.  I changed browsers, but the site still didn’t work.  I then attempted uploading  a file from a YouTube link, which was successful.  The next step was to try creating a gif from the link.  I tried publishing my first attempt, but was told that “something went wrong”.  I tried again, and the second attempt succeeded.

Once I established a working method of creating gifs, I cranked out 10 more in the course of about an hour, focusing on looping gifs and isolating some funny moments.  My next step will be to try to polish my work on looping gifs, and to perhaps enhance my “big picture” view of gifs by learning more about their history.

Hello World

This site is an expansion of a domain (annarinko.com) and subdomain (historyofgenocide.annarinko.com) I had already created in my FSEM from last semester.  I attempted to create another subdomain for this class, but couldn’t remember how to set it up.  So I attended one of the “Incubator” sessions at the Digital Knowledge Center, and created this subdomain.  I installed WordPress in both the subdomain and my main domain, since I was familiar with WordPress from last semester.  It was relatively user-friendly, and I hoped to build on the experience I had obtained from working on last semester’s blog.

On my main domain, I added my YouTube channel to my portfolio, and edited my About page, leaving the Cover Letter and Resume pages blank to be edited once I update those items.  On my subdomain, I edited the About page, and created a page devoted to my YouTube channel.  I also added my Digital Identity Analysis as my first post.  For both the domain and subdomain, I stuck to a more basic theme, but custom-edited the color scheme.  I hope to adjust the theme according to the content I ultimately place on these sites.

I want my domain to be a more formal site where I can highlight the information I want future employers to see first, in a controlled and professional manner.  In contrast, my subdomain can be slightly more informal.  I’m considering double-majoring in digital studies and communication, so this subdomain may be an area where I can place the digital studies portion of my work.  I look forward to further constructing and improving both sites in this class!

Digital Identity Analysis

My digital footprint is probably larger than that of the average American, but perhaps smaller than the average teenager’s, at least in the realm of social media. I don’t have a Twitter or Instagram account, but I do have a Facebook. A quick search leads to my public profile page (I don’t believe there are any other Anna Rinkos on Facebook). This public profile, as seen by non-friends, reflects some of my educational milestones (high school graduation, etc.), my old profile and background pictures, and some public posts encouraging the development of Xena revival.

When conducting a google search of my name, the first link that pops up is my History of Genocide blog from my FSEM course from last semester. This contains posts covering my thoughts on the various readings we went over, my projects, and some political cartoons I felt were thought-provoking. Other links include one that leads to a recording of my culminating presentation from my senior year of high school, followed by a write-up of my video-editing work posted on James Groom’s bavatuesdays site. The other links that appear include some obituaries and other pages not connected to me. Interestingly, the first image that appears during a search is one that was briefly on the UMW website. However, none of the other pictures are of me.

My foremost contribution to the internet is probably through YouTube. My channel has 44 subscribers and over 68,000 views. I’ve uploaded 64 videos since 2012, most of which are either fan-made movie trailers or mash-up trailers. However, this site isn’t linked to my name, and my username appears as UvaSEP (a throwback to my first email). The site can be found here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-V4WV2oP3lmiPtvUkQoxkg

In general, someone searching my name would probably be able to easily see that I am interested in video-editing. Most of the links reflect this. They would also notice that I am a current college student, and might be able to hazard a guess as to what geek fandoms I consider myself a part of. Overall, I’m fairly satisfied with my digital footprint in its present form. In the future, I suspect more of my video-editing work will continue to be featured. Currently, my main course site (annarinko.com) is just being developed. It will most likely feature my YouTube channel, any major research or projects I’m involved in, and my eventual CV/resume. This will hopefully allow me to continue to shape and control my own digital footprint.