Productive Failure

This is a little past due, but I still wanted to make sure this blog post made it onto the site. My most productive failure came when I was trying to set up a right-side menu that would stay fixed on the page while the reader scrolled down. As some of you who looked at the BMC website before may remember, the sidebar menu was clunky and unattractive. As the date quickly approached to turn in our final drafts, I looked on the website and saw the menu still wasn’t fixed, so I decided to do it myself despite my lack of know-how. After I figured out how to remove the side menu that was up, I proceeded to try and put up a more attractive menu. Our theme didn’t really allow the sort of thing that I was looking for, so I proceeded to try and find a plugin. What would have taken a lot of people no more than half an hour to figure out took me well over an hour. A very long, painful hour.

The first plugin that I tried didn’t work. That is, after I installed it, activated it, and FINALLY located it on my WordPress dashboard, it didn’t work.  I don’t even remember what it did, I only know that it didn’t do what I needed. I found another plugin. Same issue. I installed and activated it but then I had to find where it went on my dashboard as it was not obvious. There may have been a third plugin in there before I finally found what I wanted. I finally got my sidebar menu that wasn’t enormous. I was able to create all the options that I wanted to place on that menu. The only problem was it didn’t stick on the page as you scroll down, which was a requirement for me. That actually took a whole separate plugin. After this last plugin was installed and I found it on the dashboard (I mean really, why can’t these all be in a very obvious place?!) my menu did exactly what I wanted it to. The whole process was extremely frustrating but I’m just happy that it doesn’t look terrible anymore.

Just don’t ask me how I did all this or what plugins I used. I haven’t the faintest idea.

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Digital Citizenship

The readings for this week gave me plenty to think about regarding digital citizenship. As an aspiring archivist (or maybe museum curator… who knows where my Library Science degree will ultimately lead me), much of what I will say and ways in which I would build my digital identity would be relatively void of my own strong personal opinions. I notice that in many ways I do this already. Although I follow plenty of people on twitter, I am very selective about the things that I retweet as my Twitter page may be subject to examination when I apply for a master’s degree or for jobs after I finish school. My social media accounts may reflect my beliefs to a certain extent, but I think long and hard about my digital identity. I may be a little more lax on Facebook (who am I kidding. I’d be surprised if the government isn’t watching me after some of the stuff I have said on Facebook), but more and more I am using my Twitter account and blog as a way to build a strong digital citizenship that is more cohesive to my professional interests.

The second two readings, “Internet Famous: Visibility as Violence in Social Media” and “The Rules of Twitter” offered two similar yet different views on Twitter. “The Rules of Twitter” validated what the former article said about violence and stalking and the prominence of the white male figure on Twitter, but offered a more hopeful view of what Twitter and other social media platforms can be in the future. The same issues that plague many public spaces still afflicts digital public spaces, but it is becoming more apparent that this is not a place of segregation; this is a place where people of different ethnicities, genders, and class can interact on the same level. I’m not sure what to make of the last reading, especially in light of the “Visibility as Violence,” but it is certainly something to think about. I was also interested in the quote from “Rules of Twitter” that discusses surveillance. I myself fell into the trap of “bemoaning a more innocent tech era” at the beginning of this class while there were clearly other groups that grew accustomed to different methods of surveillance long ago. I have become quite use to this new feeling, or at least I am comfortable enough to be aware of the “digital citizenship” that I am building, but for others this is nothing new. For me this was a really interesting perspective to consider.

First Drafts of Websites, Reviewing the UUCA Website

This past week we submitted the first draft of our website. I am less than pleased with a lot of the website, including the Home page, About page, and Additional Resources page. However, I did not have time to fix these so I will have to work harder on them in the weeks coming up. For the most part I am happy with my portion of the website. I need to add more images and edit my historical interpretations, but I made sure to cite everything as I wrote it and am fairly happy with the contents of my pages. I enjoyed seeing the UUCA’s website. They did a lot of things that I wouldn’t have necessarily thought of! It is also interesting to see a very different type of story being told.

I also spent time at the WRA yesterday. I knew finding images for my part of the website would not take too long so I spent this time finding images for the games programming folks instead. I have at least 20 images—if not more—flagged for Heather to scan. I also found original drawings of the building by the architect! These were super neat and gave me a better idea of how the building was intended to be used. Contrary to what I thought, the building did not have classrooms in them but rather a few apartments and student studies. I plan to go back this week to find the images that I want to use for the rest of the website. I will probably look for images for other pages as well, including the Home page and my “Those Who Stayed” page. Even though my section of the website is almost complete, there is so much left be done. I am starting to feel the stress of pulling this together before our presentations.