Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Reflecting on the Semester of Digital-ness

Self-directed Learning

Some Topics of Personal Blog Posts 

a.     Transmedia/reality
b.     Dissemination of knowledge [Post, Another post]
c.     Form of website influencing function and how people interact with it (or not) [Personal Post, Making Menagerie Post]

Kinds of Interactions via Google+

a.     Responding to others' posts

b.     Posting my own finds

c.    Asking for feedback/social proof for my ideas

d.    Posting links to my blog with a question to get discussion going on Google+ and generate interest in the actual post (hoping people who saw it would want to read the full article).

Other Materials I’ve Looked at in My Self-directed Learning.

 I looked into transmedia storytelling because I’m involved in developing one right now.5 Lessons For Storytellers From the Transmedia World—http://www.fastcocreate.com/1680902/5-lessons-for-storytellers-from-the-transmedia-worldBefore Jumping on the Transmedia Bandwagon: The Four Ways to Approach Transmedia Storytelling—http://www.indiewire.com/article/before-jumping-on-the-transmedia-bandwagon-the-four-ways-to-approach-transmedia-storytelling

Others’ assistance

My Menagerie group—They helped me figure out elements of digital culture and helped Menagerie become a reality (especially Sarah Talley on the website design—I wouldn’t have gotten very far without you working through stuff out too).
Tara—lots of posts, some of which caught my interest, so I wanted to make my own posts (some of them I was actually glad/interested in)
Rebecca—commented on several of my Google+ posts, which encouraged me to continue posting on Google+.


My group’s project—I contributed by putting together some google docs, by starting menagerie and making menagerie websites, facilitating discussion during our planning meetings, and posting assignments so everyone could figure out what was up.
Other group’s projects—I commented on Digital Sweet Home, Mormon Badges, and the LBP groups’ Google+ posts and also gave them feedback on their ideas.

Digital literacy


At the outset of this class, I thought that I was pretty good at consuming. I knew how to navigate Google and the more closed searches in the library database systems. I would watch funny videos on YouTube, informational talks on TED, and watch movies with my roommates on Netflix. I used Google Reader as an aggregator and would check product reviews online (usually starting on Amazon) before buying the product (whether in-store or online). It was my mindset that the Internet was mostly there for me to consume information from.

During this class, I learned that consuming is just part of the use of the Internet. I learned to consume smart, such as looking for curated lists that other people have made (people-sifted lists, which can be much better than algorithm-created lists). I became aware that just using Google may preclude me from finding the things I want to, so I tried Bing and other search engines to try to get out of the Google algorithm. I also looked to social sources to help find the kind of information or services I was looking for online. Net Smart reminded me that we need to be aware of what we’re paying attention to, and how much time we’re spending on things that have little consequence.


Before taking this class, I was vaguely aware of the option to creating things and posting them online, but this really didn’t seem like my kind of thing. I thought that people had to either be fantastically talented or very conceited to post things online. I didn’t feel like anything I would create would be valuable to complete strangers, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to figure out how to get around copyright restrictions in order to post something that had even remote ties to previously-copyrighted things. I also didn’t want anyone to steal what I created and claim it as their own.

Over the course of this course, I rethought some of those approaches—stuff on the Internet doesn’t have to be as polished as other formal published material. I learned that you have to just get stuff out there and not worry too much about getting it exactly “right.” I started to explore the Internet as an area of discovery by just getting your ideas out there. I wrote blog posts, some of them without finished sentences, just to see what it was like to publish something obviously unfinished. I got a comment on an unfinished (but still published) blog post, and the person reacted to my ideas, not to the incompleteness of the post. Other creations I participated in were the Google+ posts, Menagerie, Making Menagerie, and a book I’m going to eventually finish and sell on Amazon. I wanted to try out how hard or easy it would be to create a book to sell in print and as an eBook—there were some hitches along the way, and I’m still working on getting it actually published, but it has been an interesting process. There are a lot of resources out there for people who want to share their creative projects.


As wary as I was of posting my creations online, I was much more afraid of posting information about myself online, and even more of talking with anyone I didn’t know on the Internet. My Facebook account was pretty locked down, and I rarely posted on it. I avoided any site that said it was designed to help its users connect with other people, be it dating sites, online forums, or “collaborative” endeavors (although, after watching the TED talk about them, I liked doing the reCaptchas, and I liked the possibilities that opened up with crowdsourcing indexing and family history work).

I learned that, although it’s important to be careful about some information you disclose online, putting information about yourself in profiles and such gives you some credibility. The ideas of reciprocity, social proof, and currency all gave me reasons to create an online presence. If you show that you’re not afraid to show who you are, you can connect with some pretty cool people that can help you with projects you’re working on, and you can give them feedback and ideas to help them work on the things they’re working on. If you follow someone’s blog or Google+, they may reciprocate and follow you or direct people to you. The most eye-opening thing I learned about connecting was how much it can help you create online interest communities to address issues that you’re interested in. It hadn’t occurred to me before that you can use the Internet to create friendships, not just keep in touch with ones you met in person. And some digital things can help create another dimension (ha,ha) with the relationships you already have—I can see my friends’ recommendations for books on Goodreads, and they can see the bookshelves I’ve created. 

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