Post for the week of 2/20/12–wikipedia

February 21st, 2012

After looking at several wikipedia articles on various topics these are the thoughts I had:

Rock Music- I choose this article because I felt it would have a lost of editing history considering that the genre is always evolving and there are multiple opinions on how it is viewed.

-Most of the revisions made to the site are codes and “techy” language that I don’t understand. For instance, “adding alt text to illustrations” appeared across different time periods as well as revisions that had the phrase in it.

-It is interesting to note that the article on rock music first appears in 2001 and within 500 edits the page is already in 2006, but if you look at the most recent edits they span from the current day to only March of 2011. I believe this disparity represents the growing use of google and the Internet.

Eleanor of Aquitaine- I picked this article because it is the subject of my senior thesis so it would be interesting to see how the article has evovled.

-I think it is a really awesome comparative feature that you can actually view the articles at different points in time.

-Most of the revisions in this article seem like they are repeats of the same thing. I do not know how wikipedia edits work, but this seems redundant and hard to understand what is occurring.

Barack Obama- I picked this article because I thought it would have a lot of opinion based revisions and a lot of revisions in general.

-I found it interesting that wikipedia has the option to semi-protect a site because of some sort of compliance to protect biographies of living people. I believe this is because of slander issues they probably have had in the past

-Also, the article has a stable format that cannot be edited at all

– Wikipedia says it is one of the best articles it has ever produced.

-It is obvious from the talk about the page that the people who take it seriously and the group of “ragtag volunteers” how maintain the site are serious about the accuracy of the information provided. The talk is technical and specific. It is evident that there is a large task force working on Obama’s article. Hmmm Democratic bias…?


“I had to go around my elbow to get to my thumb”—technology sucks

February 16th, 2012

I was writing the last sentence to this post when suddenly everything was highlighted then I pressed a button and it was all deleted…wonderful. Technology sucks. It definitely has its drawbacks. This would not have happened it I was writing in pencil. Anyways….what I was saying before I was so rudely deleted was the southern saying above that my family uses all the time means is that sometimes we end up doing things the hard way when there was an easier way to do things to begin with. I felt like this applied to my experience with the group contract. I starting writing the group contract with the thought that I was the scribe for the group and I asked everyone to look over it over the weekend. The group thought I was pretty much taking on the entire assignment. What I was hoping for was more collaboration. On Tuesday, I feel we really got to thick of it in terms that we are beginning to understand that everything we do in class is a collaborative effort. As we were making revisions to the contract, we were forced to really think about the direction our site was going. We ended up swithcing a lot of things around like basing our website in wordpress instead of omeka. By depending on one another to collaborate we have grown. I could see it today. We made strides today in discussing how we want the actual website to look. If we had collaborated in the first place, we could have skipped a whole step.

Group Contract Explorations

February 9th, 2012

My experience with group contracts has been a struggle of personalities. Some members of a group are leaders and some are followers. When my group and I were discussing our group contract in class today (Thursday) it was evident that this was the first time we really had to collaborate and come up with one cohesive idea about our site and our project in its entirety. The most prevalent problem we had was in discussing the division of labor and the milestones we hope to achieve. I think this was an issue because many aspects of our project overlap and run into each other. For example, three people will be studying the history and biographies of the buildings, but we had to decide which buildings. Due to the fact that research is such a large asepct of this project we have to devote more time to researching itself before our site can come together.

What our group has accomplished so far:

Kayle and I have researched a majority of the biographies of the UMW buldings for the residence halls and “other” buildings on campus. Cam has been working on researching the academic buildings.

Hopefully after coming together today to discuss our group contract, our group will be more on track with research and the tasks each person should be working on

Google Explorations

February 2nd, 2012

Google Map

Sooooooo, above is my google map. Since I was trying not to be cheesy and map my house, I decided to map out all of my favorite beaches. I find Google maps to be the most applicable to the everyday person and a vareity of purposes (placemarkers, directions, and a sort of visual for both of these purposes). Google maps was fairly easy to use and manipulate to achieve my desired results.

The reason there is no link for Google Earth is because my computer is spatially challenged. I was able to download and use all the functions of the program. I placed markers on the places I visited frequently while I was attending the University of South Carolina and it functioned much like Google Maps in the basic sense. What I mean by spatially  is that because I’m using a netbook, some features were not accessible such as connecting Google Earth to my gmail account (for some odd odd reason). My only complaint about Google Earth is that because you are essentially getting a top-down satellite view buildings look flat and are hard to identify. For instance, parking garages often look like parking lots because of their top layer and buildings are difficult to identify because you do not typically see the air conditioning and heating units on the roof.

Google Earth v Google Maps = Google Maps for my personal taste

Google Earth does its job well if you are super maps and love staring at them all day, but I will stick to Google maps.

In reference to the UMW Buildings project I believe Google maps will be very useful for constructing a view of the University and it’s buildings. Our group has already talked about using the placemarkers to add pictures of the university and blurbs about the buildings to create a somewhat interactive map. The reason I do not believe Google earth would not be ideal for our project is its top-down drawback. I do not think we have enough time to create 3D sketches of each of the buildings on campus and without that feature things would be distorted. Also, one of our group members mentioned that some buildings on campus are not shown on Google Earth. It would make more sense to put a placemarker for those buildings on a scaled down version of Google Earth versus a random grass space on Google Earth.


Blog for 1/26/12

January 25th, 2012

1)It is possible that Zotero could be used for bookmarking websites in general or as a collaborative space if members in the group all had the same log in information. I could also see Zotero as being useful for organizing and studying material for a class. As for blogging, blogs can be used as a space for collaborating with other people and learning new perspectives from those who comment. Blogs can be a way to put down information such as lesson plans, research outlines, and etc to have people comment on it. I love the RSS or Google Reader app. If you are someone who likes to be up-to-date with current events and news this app is ideal. Also, RSS could be used to keep-up-to-date with research in respective fields. By using these tools together, you can create a site that is current and up-to-date with your name on it, but also with the knowledge, experience, and ideas contributed through collaborative methods.


2) Valley of the Shadow- This website has a lot of information that could be useful to any research project pertaining to the Civil War. I think that is the problem though with the flow of the website. There is so much information that it makes the website hard to navigate. I had to click five or six times just to get to one primary document. By having to click through so many different pages it discourages the viewer from continuing further.

French Revolution- Easy to navigate, but needs more pizazz.

The Centennial Image Collection and The James L. Farmer Collection- This site is easy to navigate and does not give you any fluff. Although the information is not merchandised per se, it is straight forward and to the point. That can be useful to some one who has been researching all day.

The Emancipation Project- As a whole the colors of the website do not work for me and the font is too small. Everything is blended in together. The information presented looks like the back end of the site rather than a cohesive front end.

Gilded Age Murder- By far this my favorite site. The website is visually appealling and laid out nicely. I feel the picture function could be useful in looking at a view of campus buildings. I also like the aspect where the “unique” visitor can look at the main exhibit at the top where the researcher can dive further in with the options and text below.

Hawaiian Historical Society Historical Photograph Collection- Besides the very long name, I feel that this is how a digital history website should look like. The information is organized at the top, a part of the website is featured, and its simple and not overwhelming. I feel that our group would probably benefit and use this form of website especially in terms of the simple pages added at the top because we have a lot of information to sort through.

The James L. Farmer Collection-

First Blog!

January 20th, 2012

Hello Everyone,

This week in class I was very excited to learn the full depth of the content we will be learning in Adventures in Digital History. For the most part I am excited because I saw this as an opportunity to learn  skill sets that would benefit me in the classroom when I become a teacher. From our discussion yesterday it was emphasized that digital history represents the growth of history into the technological world as it adapts to fit new modes of communication. Digital history will be and already is a valuble tool in the classroom for graduate, undergraduate, and secondary education.

What I took away from our discussion of digital history yesterday was tha t there is no concrete definition of digital history. There are many attributes of technology that are applied to digital history and many more attributes will be applied to it as people think of creative ways to use preexisting and new resources. I would not say that I am technology ill-equipped, but I am not the most technologically savvy person. I am looking forward to learning how to utilize the Internet to suit the needs of history and take away skills from this class that I will be able to use in my own endeavors.

For a little about myself I am a senior and also working on my 485 project about the development of Eleanor of Aquitaine’s power during the twelfth century so keep an eye out for that in the spring. I recently transferred to Mary Washington  from the University of South Carolina because I was looking for a smaller school. I love to run and coach field hockey and lacrosse in my free time. I am also a closet WWE fan. It’s one of the best soap operas on television. I look forward to getting ot know everyone this year and sharing out adventures in digital history.

Hello world!

January 19th, 2012

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