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Month: February 2019 (Page 2 of 4)

Digital Culture

Yesterday in DGST 101, my group mates and I chose blogging for our digital culture module. My goal is to blog 2-3 times a week until the project is over. I downloaded Google Analytics to track the amount of people who read my blog and to see which posts do better and why. I hope to write a variety of posts and experiment with new topics and integrated media.

Here are a few ideas that I have for some posts:

  • the history of blogging
  • how does blogging influence politics?
  • tips for graduating high school seniors
  • my favorite college memories so far
  • book review
  • stories behind my favorite recipes
  • my goals for 2019
  • a list post
  • an open letter
  • worst to best rankings
  • something I am passionate about
  • an “all about me” post

I am looking forward to consistently blogging and learning about myself while improving my skills. At the end of the two weeks, I will write a reflection post on the things I have learned and my different takeaways from the project.

Mia’s Bumper

What does the back of my character’s car look like? I decided to design a bumper sticker that Mia would have on the back of her car in response to the “Bumper Sticker” assignment.

Mia is a librarian by day and a secret agent by night. Her catchphrase is “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” This is a common phrase, but made special and ironic for her since no one knows that she is a secret agent! She decided to get this bumper sticker as a joke.

I used the bumper sticker section on vistaprint to design my bumper sticker. I chose to make it a rectangle, then selected the template that I wanted. I filled in the phrase and changed around the font/spacing/color until I was happy with the product. Since I made this on a real site, I could have actually ordered the design! You can see the finished product below.

I like to imagine Mia laughing to herself when people complement her on the bumper sticker. Little do they know!

Mission 5: Complete

This week was my favorite so far. I have always loved audio storytelling. I grew up listening to a lot of Focus on the Family Radio Theatre – Oliver Twist, The Secret Garden, The Hiding Place. However, my absolute favorite production was The Chronicles of Narnia. I’m pretty sure that I listened to it enough times that I still have it memorized. Before this week, I had never thought that much about why those audio books meant so much to me as a child, but now I realize why.

In Jad Abumrad’s videos– How Radio Creates Empathy and Digital Shamanism and Old-Fashioned, Newfangled Storytelling Magic  – he talks about the empathy and connection that the radio causes us to feel. This is why I always loved The Chronicles of Narnia as a child. It wasn’t like a movie, where I was just observing that characters. I was really there with them, walking through the wardrobe and experiencing the magic of Narnia for the first time. I felt connected to the books and to the characters because I had the chance to share in their experiences.

I was able to rediscover this phenomenon as I listened to “Moon Graffiti”, another great example of audio storytelling. This blog post is my reflection on sound and audio storytelling that I wrote afterward.

Although I have always loved experiencing audio storytelling, I had never created audio myself before this week. This made me a little unsure of how the assignments would go. However, after I downloaded and experimented with Audacity for a while, I realized that I was really going to enjoy the different tasks.

I was able to tune in to ds106 radio twice this week and participate in some live “tweet-alongs.” This method of listening radio while communicating with other people was interesting. Here is my blog post that includes my thoughts and reflections on this experience.

My next task was to create a radio bumper for the station. This was a fun activity, and I am happy with my finished product. Maybe someday I’ll hear it played!

I also completed 12 stars worth of audio assignments this week. My first assignment was to take some spam and make it my own. For the second assignment, I took a normal sound and completely changed it. The third assignment was to create a story using only sound effects, which my character helped me with. The fourth assignment was to create something with a tongue twister. All of these assignments took a little more work than some have other weeks, but I didn’t mind. I really thought that experimenting with the different audio techniques was fun!

Below are my three daily creates that I did this week.

After completing the assignments and learning more about the ds106 radio, I wrote a post about a potential idea that I have for the radio show project that we have coming up.

I really enjoyed reading and commenting on my fellow classmates’ blogs this week. I also thought that the Best of ds106 form was a good idea, and made me think more about why I liked certain posts.

Learning about how sounds influence stories is important. If you were to just listen to a book being read out loud, it would be okay. But if you add sound effects, music, and different voices, you can be transported to a different world. You can hear what is happening, feel a sense of urgency or happiness based on the music, and feel connected to the story and characters.

This week was a really great one for me. I loved the fact that we were talking about something that was a big part of my childhood, which allowed me to think back on my experiences and look at things differently. Audio storytelling is something that is often not given enough credit. I’m glad that we were able to focus on it this week and learn about some of the different reasons why it is so personal and important.

Painting Pictures With Sounds

I started the week off by watching two videos by Jad Abumrad – How Radio Creates Empathy and Digital Shamanism and Old-Fashioned, Newfangled Storytelling Magic . In the videos, he said that what makes radio special is what it lacks. I thought this was such an interesting way to think about it. He talked about the fact that something on the radio is painting a picture but the listener is the one holding the paintbrush, which creates a sense of co-authorship and empathy.

I started listening to “Moon Graffiti” with these ideas still fresh in my mind. As soon as the story started, I was drawn in. The sounds used in the story created a new world in my head. I felt like I was right there on the moon along with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. I felt the change in atmosphere, I held my breath in the eerie silence, and felt the shock and curiosity that they themselves were feeling. Below is a 20 second clip from the podcast that really illustrates the different uses of sound.

In the clip, you can hear their distorted voices and the sounds of a latch being opened. The sounds are very real, drawing you into the story. The music gradually crescendos and brings on a sense of impending danger and suspense.

This is a phenomenal example of audio storytelling. The combination of the sounds effects and the music allows you to create a story in our own head. This is an example of the concepts that Abumrad talked about in his videos. The fact that you yourself are the one holding the paintbrush and experiencing the story make it so much more real and personal.

If You Had a Radio Show, What Would It Be?

After all of the work I have done this week, I am looking forward to being part of a group and creating our own radio show! I really enjoyed learning different skills throughout the week and being able to use them in my assignments. I think the radio show will be a fun way to take the knowledge I have now and use it towards something. Here is an idea I’ve thought about for the show.

I have a record called James Bond 007: 13 Original Themes. As the title suggests, the record contains the theme songs from the original James Bond movies. Below are pictures of the vinyl.

I thought it might be interesting to talk about the way that soundtracks influence movies. We could talk about the James Bond soundtracks or music from any secret agent movie. I thought we could talk about how music influences stories and about the fact that people often associate a story with a song. It would be interesting to compare movies and soundtracks and see if the feel/meaning of movies would be changed if their soundtracks were different. We could also talk about the significance of past movie soundtracks and the impact that music has on people.

This is just one idea that I’ve thought about. I’m sure there are a lot of other great ideas out there, but this is one that I wouldn’t mind considering.

Listening and Tweeting

This week, I was able to participate in the ds106radio programs on Tuesday and Thursday. I liked that fact that I wasn’t just listening along to the program, but being a part of it, since I got to interact with some of my fellow classmates on Twitter. Here are the different thoughts I had as I was listening.

As you can tell from my tweets, I liked the program on Tuesday more than the one on Thursday. However, I thought it was valuable to listen to both of them and learn both the things to do and not do in audio productions. The program on Tuesday did a great job of using music and sound to complement and strengthen the story, while the program on Thursday was a little choppy and seemed to work against itself sometimes. Overall, it was a helpful and interesting experience.

Peter Piper Had a Busy Day

The instructions for the “Tongue Twister” assignment were to “Say any tongue twister as fast as you can and include a background sound to layer it.” I decided to use the classic Peter Piper tongue twister. I recorded myself saying it and uploaded the audio to Audacity. Then I figured out how to repeat the clip multiple times, since I couldn’t actually say it more than once. Then I found a clip on to layer with it. I picked a song that I thought complemented the tongue twister pretty well. I had to turn the volume of my voice recording up and the music clip down. Then I trimmed both clips and uploaded the final track to SoundCloud. You can listen to the finished product below.

Mia’s Morning

What does the morning sound like for a secret agent? The instructions for the “Sound Effects Story” assignment are to “Tell a story using nothing but sound effects. There can be no verbal communication, only sound effects. Use at least five different sounds that you find online. The story can be no longer than 90 seconds.”

I decided to create the story of my character’s morning. Mia doesn’t need an alarm clock, because her dog wakes her up almost every morning. In my story, Mia is woken up by her dog Gus barking. She yawns, and then grabs his leash and collar. They head out the door and into the sounds of the early morning for a walk.

This assignment was a fun one! It took me awhile to think of how I wanted the story to go, and then to find the sounds that I wanted on I uploaded each of the sounds to Audacity and then spent awhile trimming them to the length that I wanted. I lined them up so that the story flowed well and made sense. You can listen to the finished product below.

Thanks for Listening to…

This week was the first time I was introduced to DS106 Radio, and I was also given the opportunity to create a radio bumper for it. The instructions for the “Create A Ds106 Radio Bumper” assignment were “Now that we have a #ds106 radio up and running creating a 15 to 30 second bumper for the station. What is a bumper? It is a short recording that identifies the radio station with signature music or an expression that makes sure the listeners know what they are tuned into. So for ds106 it should certainly include “DS106 Radio” and some sort of message about the station with voice over music.”

First I recorded a clip of myself giving a message. I uploaded the clip to Audacity and trimmed it a bit. Then I went to and decided to look for an audio clip that sounded like secret agent music. I uploaded that to Audacity as well. I aligned the clips so that the timing was right and the music changed right as I began to speak. I made sure that that music did not overpower my words, but instead complemented the message. I am happy with the final product, which you can listen to below!

Digital Polarization Project

When we first started our project, I wasn’t sure how it would work logistically, since the question we chose was one that had a definite answer. However, instead of focusing on whether the claim was true or false, we decided to focus on the significance of our topic. The question that my group chose was “Did Robert E. Lee’s descendant denounce white supremacy at the VMAs?” The answer to this was immediately yes. There are many videos and articles about the event that prove that it really happened. We decided to explore the significance of the statement, the reactions to the statement, and the relevance of it in our society.

Robert Lee IV’s speech was highly controversial and sparked a lot of debate. There are many articles online that discuss what happened, but the process of going upstream from the Web Literacy textbook led us to the original source, this tweet from MTV, which shows the original video from the VMAs. In the comment section, you can see that there are many hateful and angry remarks. There was also a backlash from the members of the church that Robert Lee IV was the pastor of, resulting in his resignation.

These are both examples of the reasons why his statement was important. Racism and the ideals of white supremacists are still common in our society. This is why his speech, although it was almost two years ago, is still circulating and controversial.

These are some of the different things that my group researched and learned as we were doing the project. It was interesting to focus on these aspects of the question and to use the skills we had learned in class and through the homework to get to the bottom of the speech and learn the reasons behind it. I searched for and read a lot of articles for this topic, and there is definitely a lot of information out there. It was important to find the accurate details and get to the bottom of the source. The skills that I learned through completing this project are very helpful and will definitely be used again in the future.

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