Week 1August 27, 2021
I started the week by reviewing what tasks I needed to complete on the DS106 blog. In order to keep myself organized, I entered each of the individual assignments into my planner on Mystudylife. I made sure to make it so that each of the assignments were “due” on a different day so that I would not get overwhelmed trying to complete them. This strategy worked out pretty well for me, so I intend to continue it throughout the semester.
Though the first assignment I had marked for completion was the creation of my multimodal introductions, I decided to begin by watching my episode of The Joy of Painting. I did this because I wanted to have a piece of art to post alongside my introduction on Twitter. Most of the people I follow on my personal Twitter are artists, and I wanted each of my introductions to reflect the content I engage with on that platform. By the end of the episode, I had a nice piece of artwork that I promptly posted on my Twitter account.
The next thing I did was create my introduction on Youtube. I chose this because I assumed that it would be the most time consuming to create. Most of the videos I watch are videoessays, so I began by writing out a short script on Google Docs in that style. I then recorded myself reading the script and edited it using IMovie. Doing this allowed me to familiarize myself with the rudimentary features of the editing software and, after reviewing the final product, I think I have a better idea of some of the things I should plan ahead for when scripting a videoessay (most notably, the placement of cuts).
The next introduction I did was for Soundcloud. I had never used Soundcloud before, so instead of creating an introduction based on that platform, I decided to make one based on the kinds of podcasts that I will occasionally listen to. These are usually more improvisational and comedic, so I decided to record with only a few bullet points on what I wanted to talk about. I did find myself restarting a few times just to make sure that the recording wasn’t too full of pauses, but I made sure to stop before I started over rehearsing the material.
The last introduction I had to do was on Instagram. Out of all of the mediums, Instagram is the one that I was most familiar with, so I decided to save that for last. I primarily use Instagram as a way to keep up with my friends, so I had to create a post that could serve as both an introduction and a regular post for all of my friends. This was the final product, but upon completion, I learned that Instagram posts could no longer be embedded on a WordPress blog. As a result, I ended up creating a Flickr account where I posted one of the images from my Instagram along with a similar caption.
Next, I had to create a WordPress blog through my College. This was a project that I thought would be more difficult than it actually was. The description of the process on the DS106 blog had me a little worried because of its length, but the process was surprisingly straightforward and simple, at least from my perspective. I was promptly able to register my domain, create my website, and make my multimodal introduction with relative ease. Though most of the introductions I made only represent the base level of what can be created for these websites, I had no previous experience working with tools like IMovie or WordPress, and am confident that my knowledge of those tools will grow during the semester.
When it came time to write my reflection on The Joy of Painting, I had to re-watch portions of the episode, as it had been a few days since I had seen it. Though I had paid pretty good attention to the episode, my experience watching it the first time was very emotionally stimulating and I wanted to isolate some of the parts that triggered the feelings I had. Re-watching helped me realise exactly what it was that resonated within me, and writing about it awakened those same emotions again.
Thinking on my goals for this semester proved to be pretty easy. When I first enrolled in this class, I had a rough idea of what I wanted to do and, though the class isn’t quite what I was expecting, my goals have not changed. I still want to learn how to effectively use different digital platforms and tools in order to tell stories.
This first week proved to be very interesting. I expected this course to be more about how digital platforms could be used to tell fictional stories, but the emphasis on personal experience that has defined week one is something I find equally intriguing. I was also intimidated by the seemingly heavy workload presented last Friday, but by breaking it up into its base assignments, the process proved to be very manageable. This course seems very interesting, and I am looking forward to seeing where it will progress from here.