Week 5: Mediated Metacognitive Meditation

Today is the day, the last day of Intro to Digital Studies. Its hard to imagine how much material we have covered in such a short amount of time, but I have learned so much over the course of these 5 weeks and have truly expanded my online digital portfolio into something I am proud of.

For this assignment, I decided to go back and restyle my subdomain and domain to make it more personalized and organized.  I also went back and fixed some of the mistakes I made (misspellings, embedment errors, etc.) in my past assignments. I chose these areas because I saw a need for improvement in them as I wanted to be able to have my digital portfolio be a place where I can showcase my work in a way that I am proud of on a platform that is organized, a personalized representation of me, and free of minor mistakes.

The first thing I went focused on was sorting through my old assignments and fixing any errors that needed fixing. This took me all the way back to week 1, with my post on module 1: GIFs. I noticed that my uploaded GIFs were not moving. Since the whole purpose of a GIF is to have it be a moving picture, I knew this was a big issue. I realized my mistake was that I did not properly embed my GIFs into my post. I thought saving my GIFs and uploading them as a media file would be sufficient. But my computer saved them as images and not as a GIF file. Once I realized my mistake, I was able to go back and embed my GIF properly so now it showcases my ability to not only make a GIF, but embed links properly.

As I said, I wanted my digital portfolio to be a good representation of me and who I am. To do so, I went back to make sure that my domain, subdomain, and all posts contained as little to no grammar or spelling mistakes as possible. I have a confession to make. I have always been a lazy speller. I will type and type and spell and spell, but I will never spell check my work. So it was a good thing I went back to look over my work because I found a lot of mistakes. For starters, I noticed many misspellings in my Timeline assignment, so I made sure to fix all of those.

In addition to making sure my portfolio contained as little spelling and grammar errors as possible, I wanted to develop my domain and subdomain to represent me stylistically. I remember at the beginning of this course, I designed my subdomain to be as easy as possible for me to work on. But because I focused on making it something easy to style, it wasn’t really a style I was proud of. So to enhance my subdomain, I decided to completely reconstruct it with a new style and color scheme, and make it more personalized. I enhanced the page with pictures of me and changed the theme to fit with the style of the name of my website: a beginners guide. I wanted my subdomain to be like a beginners guide. I had never taken a digital studies course before a knew this was going to be a learning experience for me. When I think of a guidebook, to me the first thing that pops into my head is an old composition notebook, so I used that as the inspiration to the theme of m subdomain. By changing the style of my subdomain to look more like a guidebook, I think it helps enhance my digital identity by showing how these assignments and my subdomain was a learning process.

My primary domain was an absolute mess. Because all of my posts were uploaded throughout this course on my subdomain, I had not paid a lot of attention to the style aspect on my main domain. If my domain is supposed to be the homepage to my digital portfolio, I wanted it’s focus for style to be a true representation of who I am. So, I first changed the theme into something that was more organized and put together. Personalizing my domain took a lot of time and trial and error. Certain aspects of the site weren’t very user friendly, and it would often take me a long time to figure out how to upload something I wanted on my domain. But after spending quality time doing this, I was able focus my overall look of the domain into something that was organized and visually appealing. I wanted to make the style something simple, but still visually appealing. So I decided to change the style into a lighter color scheme to brighten it up, and reorganized it so that my posts were in numerical order and more easily accessible in a side bar. I figured organizing my domain like this would allow me to easily be able to add to any future content I created, and upload it to help further establish my digital portfolio and the digital identity I wanted to showcase, and overall I am happy with it.

When it comes to meditating on this course, I chose to throw it back all the way to the first week of this course with my favorite assignment of the summer: GIFS! I figured what better way to end the course with bringing it fun circle to where I started. So I decided to use gifs to visualize this course and my struggles and triumphs with it.

WEEK 1:

WEEK 2:

WEEK 3:

WEEK 4:

WEEK 5:

 

 

Analyzing My Week

If  you are reading this, that means I (and probably you) somehow survived the week. This week was by far the hardest one to date. The week started with an educational lesson on coding and HTML/CSS. I went back and fourth between w3schools and Codeacademy to help me through the process. Both of these websites had pros and cons. I loved how interactive Codeacademy was, but also liked how clearly outlined the processes for HTML were written in w3schools. Overall, I found both of the websites very useful and user friendly and frequently visited them throughout the week as I faced my most difficult challenges in digital studies to date.  I decided to work on the module textual analysis. I was drawn to this module initially because of my love for reading and it sounded pretty straightforward and interesting. Textual analysis is the process of taking a piece of text and slicing it into manageable pieces that we can easily draw conclusions from. To try my hand at textual analysis, I took two pieces of text, one that I was familiar with and one I was not, and used Volant tools, and online textual analysis platform to analyze and draw conclusions between the two. Seemed simple enough, right? Well, it was!  I decided to analyze on of my favorite books, “The Fault in Our Stars,” and a book I have never read before but heard great reviews of, “Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl.” Volant tools made it super easy to upload my pieces of text and analyze them. After I copied and pasted the links to each novel on Voyant tools, the platform quickly separated the text into things like average words per sentence, vocabulary density, and the most frequently appeared words in the novel. I could also do a word search for a specific type of word to see how many times it appeared in each text. From these types of summary details, I could gather clues and information and try to piece together similarities or differences that I saw and draw conclusions.

This module allowed me to learn how text analysis is done. When analyzing text, you can use words and phrases of authors, film writers, or journalists to draw conclusions for specific trends, writing styles, or plot and thematic elements.  This could be helpful when a reader is struggling with a piece of text that they aren’t understanding due to hard or confusing language or writing style. By being able to focus on the main elements of a piece of text, it can separate the confusing stuff from the more easily understandable stuff and allow you to work with what you do know to draw conclusions.

The next part of this week was to use HTML and make a website for my analysis. Again, sounds easy enough right? Yeah, not so much…

Putting together my website was a very time consuming process, that required a lot of trial and error. This was my first time doing anything like this before, but I figured that it wouldn’t be too difficult to do after completing the lessons on Codeacademy. I thought that I could just jump in and design my website based off of what I knew, and so I did. By doing so,  I quickly became aware of how I had no idea what I was doing. Like I said, this week was very time consuming and required a lot of trial and error. I probably watched videos of how to code 50 times on repeat, I googled a lot of questions that I had, relied on my classmates for answers, and code academy and w3schools are now my top 2 most frequently visited browsers. Through using HTML and CSS, I had to try and delete and retry many different codes until I found the one I  wanted for my website. It wasn’t easy, and at times was seriously frustrating, but by the end, I had a website I am proud of that contains my analysis for the week.

http://dgstprojects.chrismeyers96.com/digital.methodology/myproject.html

Although this week was stressful, I learn so much. While working with HTML, one thing I noticed was how even though I didn’t really understand what I was doing, seeing the final product was an eye opening thing for me. The things I coded for in HTML for my website, were the types of things that I see all over the internet today. Since I now understand the time, attention, and detail it takes to make a website I now have a better appreciation and understanding  for what I am seeing on the internet. In the past, I had never really put much thought into how websites are made or why every website looks different and serves different purposes. But now I do. HTML allows for people to create specific websites that best showcase the information they are putting out onto the web. It is an important way that we can share or store data efficiently. This week has expanded my knowledge of digital platforms. For this class, I’ve worked a lot with blog posts and have become pretty sufficient in writing, posting,  and using subdomains. Now, I feel confident to add HTML and website created to my digital portfolio. Obviously I am just a beginner, but I feel interested to continue learning and seeing what I can create in this area.

Video:

digitalmethodology

Analyze this — Module 3 Phase 1

For this week, I decided to be a part of the Text Analysis module. Never heard of text analysis? Don’t worry, until yesterday neither had I . Text analysis is the process of taking pieces of text and analyzing them to draw conclusions. When we perform textual analysis on a piece of text, we often use our biases or surrounding clues to make educated guesses at some of the most likely interpretations of what we are reading. Ultimately, I was drawn to this module from my own love of reading. But upon initial research, I’m starting to understand more about the possibilities of text analysis and why it is so important. Every time you read, whether or not you realize it, you are analyzing the text in front of you. You are constantly asking questions in your head and searching for the meaning and possible conclusions for the words appearing in front of you. Online softwares also help us do this process of text analysis. The ability to run software-driven analyses helps slice text and documents into manageable pieces of content that we can gather more conclusions from. The moment a piece of text is ‘sliced’ into manageable pieces, the possibilities to analyze the texts opens up and allows us to draw the most accurate interpretations. This week, I am excited to explore various online tools and data sets, such as volant and Juxta Commons, that are used to perform text analysis, and use them to analyze some of my own favorite books. I am curious to see the different conclusions that can be made from the text, and how they compare with my own interpretations. I think it will be an eye opening experience for me to see how exactly conclusions are drawn from readings and will help me learn tools to use in the future that I can apply when I am required to critically analyze text in a classroom or in life.

On your mark….Get set…Blog!

So on my first step on my road to being a blogger, I decided to learn more about the culture of blogging and why it is so popular. Now a days, consumers create and consume extraordinary amounts of data. Each updated status, web search, purchase, streamed video, and friend request dictates how we use the internet. Blogging takes the point of control and puts it into the the users. It allows users of the internet to utilize the web as a platform and control the data they put out. People use blogging for a multitude of reasons. It can help showcase a professional/business platform, or can be used for personal reasons. It’s a narration of people’s lives and thoughts, an connects people on a much more personal or individualized setting that can be hard to find on other social media sites. A major basis of the appeal of blogging is its ability of being user friendly. Anyone can blog, and there’s just a bout a million things to blog about. Theres no right or wrong way to share what you love, and there is bound to be an audience who is interested in what you have to say. And even if there isn’t, that’s okay. Blogging can be for the bloggers eyes only if they wish. It is a flexible form of sharing that caters to many needs and makes it a popular web platform.

Now that I learned more about the blogging life, I decided to try my own hand at being a blogger. Because blogging was such a scary task for me, I wanted to play around with different blogging formats, and discover which one I liked best for me. I usually use Word Press for to post my blogs for class, and I have gotten pretty used to and familiar with the setup of the platform. But for this assignment I wanted to try different blogging platforms and see what else is out there. I explored CMS and Blog platforms like Omeka, Grav, and finally, the one I liked the best, Known. Known was described as a simple to use platform for writing a blog, hosting a podcast, or sharing your videos. I liked how user friendly this platform was, and I liked how it allowed me to explore other outlets of blogging like podcasts or video/photo sharing. It helped me realize that there are other forms of blogging other than writing posts and I wanted to be able to learn about and possibly use these other formats. So to start my journey of becoming a blogger, I decided to blog using Known.

Next, it was time to blog. Picking a topic for what I wanted to blog about was a challenge in itself. I know I said how blogging has endless possibilities and can be for and about anything and blogs are supposed to be personal and a reflection of the writer. But they also can serve a purpose towards the audience. Trying to come up with things to blog about that would both be something I wanted to talk about and also be interesting and captivating to my audience was big challenge in itself. I reflected a lot and explored and evaluated a lot of other blogs that seemed popular to other people my age. There are so many types of blogs out there: from beauty blogs to travel guides, and from podcasts to video clips, the types of blogs out there and the formats in which they are used are endless. But they are all personal to what the author wants to say an helps them convey exactly that. So instead of just coming up with one topic and blogging for 3 days about that, I decided to play around with my blogging style and see what I liked best. To do so, I picked 3 random and different topics that were of interest to me and possibly to my audience to blog about. The 3 topics I focused on are food, health, and soccer.

I always loved to write, but I was never very good at keeping journals. Blogging this week has given me an outlet to share my words about things I love and about topics that are a part of me. By telling myself I was going to blog about a certain topic, it made me be accountable for what I was writing. It meant that I promised myself I was going to write about a topic, so I made sure to write about it. At first, it was a check list of things to write about. But after writing my first blog post, I got lost into it. It was no longer something I had to do, it was something I wanted to do. With every blog post, I discovered a voice that I didn’t realize I had. It was therapeutic for me in a way. I think this is why people blog. They don’t blog for an audience, they blog for themselves. They write about things they want to write about. They write about things they are passionate about, that are part of who they are. And maybe they find and connect with people who are like them and want to read their words. That is the power of blogging.

Obviously my blogging style and format is a but messy and all over the place. But that’s okay. Blogging style is supposed to reflect the blogger so hey you guessed it, I do not have a lot of style and am kind of a mess and all over the place. But I am a work in progress and so is my blog.  I loved having an opportunity to try my hand at blogging this week and it’s definitely something I want to keep trying and working at throughout the remainder of this summer class and beyond.

 

Video on Blogging Module

Blah-Blah-Blog

When people hear the word Blog, they probably immediately think of one thing: an online diary. At least that’s what I always thought of when I read blogs. To me, a blog was sort of like an online journal where people could share their thoughts, ideas, and hobbies or vent and reflect about their life. I don’t mean this in a negative connotation. In fact, I personally always loved the idea of blogging and was an avid reader of a few blogs myself. But I never thought I could be a blogger. I did’t think people would care about what I had to say, or if I even had anything interesting to say in the first place. But I think I may have put off blogging without truly understanding it or giving it a try. Blogging can be for everyone and anyone. There are no guidelines or restrictions as to what you can put in your blog, or what the purpose of your blog is for. For that reason I think it’s an important form of self expression people can utilize and share with the world. Blogs are another way we can connect with others in an instant and self form of publication. This interesting web log of literature has become a popular platform for many individuals and businesses across the globe to share their words with others, and I think this has a strong and powerful impact. I am excited to learn more about this “culture” of blogging and why and how it became so popular, and try my own hand at blogging through exploring various blog platforms.

Shake It Like a Polaroid Picture

Technology is a big part of everyone’s daily life. For example, think of your day in a series of hours, and try to think of a time where ones of those hours didn’t consist of you using a form of technology at least once. If you are like me, it probably doesn’t happen that often. With that being said, I assumed it would be easy to pick a device and think of 8 specific events in its “life”, but that wasn’t the case. Technology has become such an integral part of everyone’s life that thinking of 8 specific life events for any device I owned presented a challenge. I use devices like my cell phone, TV, laptop, and camera on a regular basis. With this regularity I have become oblivious to the events that occur while using these devices and to these devices. When I first started this assignment, I thought I was going to use my old iPhone as my subject to study. But the only life it had was being used by me everyday for random things, getting broken when I dropped it on the concrete, and being easily replaced with a new one that had another new life but met the similar fate of it predecessor. We live in a society where technology is so abundant, that if a device breaks, it’s not hard to find a suitable and easy replacement for it. With that being said, I think we take our technology for granted. In the past, if one of your devices broke, you spent money and time to try to get it fixed rather than just replacing it with a new one. That is why I decided to use my mother’s old Polaroid camera for this project. It was old enough that it had a rich history. It wasn’t just something modern that when it broke it was easily replaced. It had been through its fair share of wear and tear, but that made it a perfect fit for this assignment. Once I decided to use it as my subject of study, it became a lot easier to think of the life events of this device and make a timeline.

 

Through the hardships of this project, I found it to be one of the most interesting assignments I’ve ever had to do for a class. The start of this assignment was to actually take apart and explore our device. Like I said, technology surrounds our life. The opportunity to take apart and explore the pieces of my device at first seemed challenging to me, but I was shocked to find it easy and even fun. When I think of technology, like a camera or a phone or computer, I think of all the small components that make up the final end product. Since a camera is able to capture and develop an image, I imagined it would be filled with so many small components that were complex, especially considering how old my Polaroid camera was. I was shocked to see how even despite its age, there weren’t that many components to making up this camera. Another interesting part of this assignment was the timeline aspect of it.

 

It was fun for me to create a timeline for my specific device, but through discovering the life of my device, it made me realize the timeline of cameras in general. Cameras are devices that I think people tend to forget because they have had such a transformation over the years. From the beginnings of Polaroid cameras, cameras evolved into digital cameras. Within these digital cameras, we have the big, bulky ones that many professional photographers use. And we have the smaller more portable ones that most people used in their everyday lives. Overtime, with increasing technology, these cameras got smaller and skinnier, and produced better quality photos that there predecessors. Fast-forward again to the age of cell phones. Many people ditched portable cameras all together to use the cameras on their phones due to the easy accessibility that combining a phone and camera brought. Now we don’t really think of cameras as what picture capturing devices they used to be. They are now just a part of another device that we use everyday in our life.

 

With the evolution of this technology, our society has evolved as well. We are a marketable society that seeks instant gratification and easy accessibility. I think that is why cameras evolved over time. With increasing technology, cameras got smaller and more easily transportable, the quality of the photos they produced became better, the ability to share the photos became easier to do, and overtime, the Polaroid was lost. But funny enough, in 2017, Polaroid cameras are making a comeback. We are being drawn back to these “ancient” cameras but putting our modern technological twist to them. Polaroid cameras have developed into a luxury and a marketing technique. They are making their comeback as part of the trendy hipster fad. The pictures from Polaroid pictures are popping up all over the web and social media, reaching consumers and becoming so popular that the Polaroid is back on the market by high demand. These modern Polaroid make look the same, but they have many technological differences that reflect the change over time since they were first used. You can now buy Polaroid cameras that print in different color settings, one that prints in wide or narrow dimensions, or one that has built in Instagram filters. You can buy a simple Polaroid camera but upload the pictures to your social media accounts. Or you can ditch the camera completely and just buy a printer that connects with you phone by Bluetooth and prints pictures form your phone of computer that are produced to look like they came out of a Polaroid.

 

Whether it is the Polaroid camera, or a record player, I think it’s fun and interesting to see old products resurfacing with a modern twist on them and it was an enlightening experience to really view this camera objectively and see not only the history of my own Polaroid, but of cameras in general.

 

Reflection for Week 2

For how much I use technology, I sure do not know anything about it. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I can use technology and am the owner of a lot of different devices. But when it comes to knowing the components that make up each of my devices or how these devices come to be, I like most people, are clueless.

With that being said, this week was an awesome learning experience for me. From all of my research, work, and class discussions conducted over the week, I have gained a new found understanding about the components that make up our devices and our digital culture. When I think of a device I use commonly, say my iPhone, I have never really thought of how it was made. Playing the game at the very start of this week and reading the article associated with the game was a real eye opener for me. The cruelties and exploitation that go into making the devices our society pines for so badly was unbelievable to read but also hit close to home. We as a society can read of these atrocities and say how terrible they are, but at the end of the day, we as consumers play a role in these atrocities.

Overall, this week has made me realize how intertwined technology is with our society. To me, technology reflects society. This realization really became apparent when it came to taking apart my device. The device I used for this project was an old Polaroid camera. By constructing the lived history of my own device, I was forced to look at the lived history of cameras in general. Polaroid cameras have been around for years. In the past, they were originally replaced by more modern technologically advanced digital cameras. These digital cameras, unlike their Polaroid ancestors, were much more easily transportable, could hold and take more photos, and were much cheaper.  These digital cameras were favored by society because they represented easy accessibility and high quality that we wanted so badly. And overtime, technology evolved to meet this “need” even more as cameras started appearing in our phones, and people ditched digitalized pictures all together. Funny enough, we have come full circle and these ancient Polaroid cameras seem to be making their comeback, with a few modern technological twists of course.

 

I think the history of cameras, and the return of the Polaroid that I focused on so much for my Object Lesson, fit perfectly with what I read and learned about this week. We as a society of consumers are constantly seeking things the next best thing, and technology and our digital society reflects this. As companies work to meet the needs of the consumers, it creates a ripple that starts at the beginnings. Companies have to get the means to make products somehow, and that often comes at the hands of slavery and exploitation. The higher the demand from consumers, the more exploitation that takes place. Furthermore, with the need to have the next best thing, we go through devices and technology so frivolously we are starting to see environmental changes. E waste is at an all-time high and recycling devices is bringing its fair share of issues. US states are shipping its e waste to other countries to get rid of it, which is causing health and environmental problems elsewhere. I can clearly see that we as a society need to take more responsibility in the digital culture we have created. We need to realize the effects our demands have on society and put pressure of companies to act ethically. We need to educate ourselves on the effects of e waste on our health and environment and how to properly recycle our old devices. These are all things I have learned this week and I think for that it was a very eye opening, but education week.

And that’s a wrap on the gif

IMG_7159

This week has been very informative but also has been filled with its challenges and left me feeling at certain times a little overwhelmed. Throughout this week, I have learned a lot about slack, navigated the pros and cons of an online class, the purpose of domains and developing a digital identity, and all about gifs. Before this week, I had never been exposed to slack before. Whenever I was required to do online work for a class, I usually relied heavily on google docs and Canvas to do my work. Slack was an awesome discovery for me. It reminded me sort of like an educational twitter setting. The ability to DM my classmates directly and my professor allowed for easy communication. With this being an online class, I found that Slack allowed me to connect easily with the rest of my classmates. We were able to talk all together and share our difficulties and work together to find solutions. Slack turned this module into an online community with my classmates that allowed me to extend my digital identity by working and learning through others. The opportunity to develop an online identity is one that I view as something awesome to have in this age of online hyper-communication. It’s a chance for me to control what I wish to put out for others to see. It is a way that I can access and showcase my learning that leads to finished products. Furthermore, taking an online class has been a learning experience in itself. There is something that is awesome about doing a digital studies course online. This is my first online class I have ever taken, and this first week was full of challenges. I have been on vacation since the beginning of this class and only have wifi for about 3 hours of the day. For this reason, being able to connect with my classmates on slack has been an awesome tool. Trying to figure things out online has been a learning experience and stressful, but is something that I am viewing as a positive learning experience and am excited to continue working with my classmates and learning through these modules. Being able to end this week with the final product of a Gif was something really cool for me. I learned how not only to make a gif of my own, but the history behind these pictures. I have seen gifs all over the place but I know the understanding of what makes these pictures so popular. I will definitely use my new skill of making a gif of my own in the future, and am excited to continue learning in this class. Until then…

 

Beginners Guide to DGST Chapter 1: Gifs

If I want to learn about all about these moving pictures, I figured a good place to start would be to figure out the logistics of these pictures.

Trying to piece together a timeline of the history of the gif is a lot more difficult than I would have imagined. There are millions of gifs out there. And with the options to easily create your own gifs the possibilities are endless to create millions of more. With so many gifs in the world, there is not a set record of the history of these tiny, moving pictures. We can estimate the history of the gif started in 1997 with Simple Net Art Diagram. The two person artist team MTAA released to the public domain for remixing, allowing the public to participate to locate and manipulate an image for themselves. Since then, the progression of Gifs can be seen today through the work of artists like Cory Archangel in Super Mario Clouds, Jacob Ciocci, Jessica Ciocci, and Ben Jones whose images consisted  of bright colors, fun designs, and image captions to add to their appeal and popularity. Now a days, Gifs have become much more intricate and reach a vastly diverse audience on multiple social media platforms.

The popularity of these tiny, moving pictures comes from their easy accessibility, entertainment value, and diverse range of uses. Gifs have flashed across all forms of social media, from Tumblr to Facebook, and even in our everyday text conversations. You’ve probably spotted them in advertisements, email signatures, social media avatars and all over web forums. Gifs reach people of all ages. They are easily obtainable and can be found effortlessly online or even using the many keyboard available to any internet user that are dedicated to gifs. Even if you don’t know how to make one, their entertainment value allows anyone of any age to easily connect with them when you receive it. Furthermore, having the ability to use a gif or create your own incorporates a personal attachment to these photos and adds to their appeal and fun.

However, no two gifs are created ‘equally’, and before you go around freely sharing or creating your own gifs you should understand the various constraints social media platforms have on the uses of them. The trouble lies in using someone’s original content to create and share a GIF. Individuals often make and share these pictures with little concern for the repercussions but depending on who you are and how you distribute them, you should be aware of copyright issues. Fair use is determined usually through the purpose and character of the use, the nature of copyrighted work, the amount of the portion used in relation to the copyright of work as a whole, and the effect of use upon the potential viewing market. But for the most part, Gifs are open to our endless entertainment access. For example, Tumblr and Twitter’s restrictions on Gifs usually only deal with size limit and megabytes. These social media platforms make it super easy to use and upload Gifs, with included Gif keyboards on their websites that allow you to freely use and save these pictures for whatever purpose you seek.

Whenever you start to learn to do something new, some people seem to take the dive-on-in and figure it out as you go approach. Well, I am no one of those people. I like to take small, easy, baby steps till I get comfortable and then push my boundaries fro there. I decided to stick to my ways when it came time for me to make my first gif. When I actually had to make my gif, I explored and researched a lot of different websites and ways that you can create one of these moving pictures. For my first time constructing a Gif, I chose to work with Giphy. I had heard a lot of my classmates were finding success with the website and after playing around with it for a bit I felt it was really easy and straightforward to use. I mainly used the Gif caption option for this post. All I had to do was find a picture that fit my mood, and caption it. It was simple as that.

 

I was shocked to learn how easy it was to make a GIF of my own. There are so many websites and tools out there that make it so easy to come up with and personalize gifs of your own. I started the task of learning about Gifs wondering about what makes these pictures so popular and why we as a society connect with them and find them so fascinating. From looking at the history, to actually getting the chance to make my own gif, I have a new found understanding of these pictures. They are expressive. We connect with them because of the emotions they evoke in us. No matter what age you are, you feel that sense of excitement and laughter when you receive and send one. With the easy ability to make your own gifs, the possibilities to connect and use these gifs are endless. The influence of these seemingly simple pictures is seen through its popularity and multitude of uses, and gives us a new way of communication.

 

 

Gif-ing out

A gif is worth a thousand words. There’s something about those small, tiny moving pictures that are able to perfectly capture what you are trying to say without you actually just saying it. And if there’s one thing I enjoy, it’s a good gif conversation. Gifs have become very popular across multiple social media platforms and have become a very popular form of expression. I think we all have experienced the fun of searching for the perfect gif to respond to a friend with, but also the frustration when you can’t find the exact one you are looking for.

Myself, like many  others, must admit I love using gifs. I’ve sent them to cheer up a friend who has been in a tough spot. I have received them in multiple ‘gif war’ conversations with my friends where we try to carry on a conversation with nothing but these moving pictures. I’ve even used them in a professional setting at my summer internship as a way to connect with my coworkers and costumers.

But with gifs popping up all over the place, there is something about these tiny  moving pictures that I never really understood. They bring us joy. They entertain us. There are millions of gifs out there perfectly suitable for any conversations or current situation we wish to describe. But they are also voiceless, use low picture quality, and whatever situation we use them in can more than likely easily be replaced with a simple sentence and maybe a laughing emoji to add effect.  Yet for some reason, we are connected to these seemingly meaningless moving pictures, and I think that with the popularity of gifs, and my weird curiosity and obsession with them makes them a good place to start in my Beginners Guide to DGST.

I want to explore how these moving pictures got their start. I want to learn about the connections we have to these pictures and the connections they make between the sender and recipients who use them. And I want to be able to make some connections of my own through creating gifs of me own.

So, here we go. Beginners Guide to DGST Chapter 1: Gifs