Infographics and Visual Literacy

I think our infographics class activity on Tuesday was actually a pretty good representation of the assumptions people make about their audience’s visual literacy and cultural knowledge when they create infographics. For example, Table 3’s infographic expects viewers to understand that they are looking at a timeline, even though it isn’t formatted as a traditional timeline. The infographic also assumes that the audience recognizes Pusheen. Similarly, Table 4’s infographic takes for granted that the user knows to hover over each state to see the number of Olympic medal recipients. It also expects viewers to figure out that it only represents the contiguous states. While these all sound like simple examples, they reveal that the makers of infographics expect at least a basic level of visual literacy. A third grade viewer may have recognized Pusheen, but also not realize that two states are missing from the map of the U.S.  I think these infographics highlight the need for designers to consider their audiences, as well as the need for visual literacy education.

History of Digital History and Its Future

This week (11-18/11-20) we discussed digital history and its future (mainly crowd sourcing). As the discussion leader I decided I wanted the class to start talking about the disadvantages and advantages of our schools database system. We touched on subjects such as the limitability of our existing databases, the advantages to it being private, and the different types of experiences we get while doing our research. We also asked the questions “Do you think students should have access to all databases from all universities?” and ” Do you think all private databases should be open to the public and not just to those who pay like students, professors, universities?” The answers were definitely mixed. Some students believed that the more access we have to databases the more polluted the material becomes. Other believed this would make our research rich and more abundant.

I do believe that all databases should be open, if not to the public, at least to all university students. As students, we have access to merely dust sized piece of materials and information that is out there. Our research would benefit tremendously if we were able to access all the material that was out there published on our topic. I do understand some peer’ concerns that it would be too hectic to sort through it all, but if you had the proper knowledge and tools, it would be become as second hand as searching something on google.

History of Digital History and Its Future

This week (11-18/11-20) we discussed digital history and its future (mainly crowd sourcing). As the discussion leader I decided I wanted the class to start talking about the disadvantages and advantages of our schools database system. We touched on subjects such as the limitability of our existing databases, the advantages to it being private, and the different types of experiences we get while doing our research. We also asked the questions “Do you think students should have access to all databases from all universities?” and ” Do you think all private databases should be open to the public and not just to those who pay like students, professors, universities?” The answers were definitely mixed. Some students believed that the more access we have to databases the more polluted the material becomes. Other believed this would make our research rich and more abundant.

I do believe that all databases should be open, if not to the public, at least to all university students. As students, we have access to merely dust sized piece of materials and information that is out there. Our research would benefit tremendously if we were able to access all the material that was out there published on our topic. I do understand some peer’ concerns that it would be too hectic to sort through it all, but if you had the proper knowledge and tools, it would be become as second hand as searching something on google.

Digital Identity

Last week classes (11-11-14/11-13-14) consisted of discussing our digital identities. But what does your digital identity actually consist of and how does it affect you? Well, to explore the answer to this question you could always google yourself.  Now we could all make a joke about the sexual innuendos of phrase like “googling yourself” but in all seriousness your digital identity, including what appears on Google, can be life altering. We discussed this topic in great detail, the first week on my digital studies 101 class. We talked about how what you publish online can follow you for the rest of your life and affect many outcomes. When I was asked why I should care about my digital identity this is the answer I gave:

“The job market is shrinking before our eyes. It used to be that a person just needed to be high school graduate to get a well paying job. Now it seems like you have to have a degree from a prestigious college, with a minor or concentration in a specialized field, an inside connection to your place of interest, and be attending a graduate school to even get considered for decent positions these days. What will not help our already slimming chances of finding our dream job or any job for that matter, is inappropriate images or content appearing on Google when an employer searches our name. I know that my father, being a business owner, searches applicants on Google before doing anything else, to judge whether they are a good candidate for his company. Now, since most employers look you up on Google before actually conducting an interview, your “digital identity” or what appears on Google can be crucial.

If they search your name and find photos of you smoking weed, drinking, partying, or doing other unsuitable activities, it doesn’t matter how delightful you think you can be during your interview, they pretty much already have their minds made up. Your digital identity holds significant weight on a social media based society that is becoming evermore engrossed in the web based world.”

Personally I try to keep my social media somewhat “pg” just because I do have employers and professors following me on one or more forms of social media. As I brought up in class, it has been drilled into our heads from an early age that what we post online affects us greatly. Because of this type of upbringing I feel as though I have always monitored my online image, which I am very thankful for.  When I google myself I find my old gymnastics scores, my pinterest boards filled with future wedding ideas and yummy recipes. I also find my facebook which is private unless I add you, my twitter account which is mainly used for school, and some old school projects which I am very proud to display.

Overall I think my digital identity is somewhat more tamed than my actual personality is in reality. So for me, unlike so may others, I think my digital identity is actually a positive aspect of my appearance.

Digital identities can affect you in so many ways. Now, more than ever, people need to be wary of what they post online.

 

Digital Identity

Last week classes (11-11-14/11-13-14) consisted of discussing our digital identities. But what does your digital identity actually consist of and how does it affect you? Well, to explore the answer to this question you could always google yourself.  Now we could all make a joke about the sexual innuendos of phrase like “googling yourself” but in all seriousness your digital identity, including what appears on Google, can be life altering. We discussed this topic in great detail, the first week on my digital studies 101 class. We talked about how what you publish online can follow you for the rest of your life and affect many outcomes. When I was asked why I should care about my digital identity this is the answer I gave:

“The job market is shrinking before our eyes. It used to be that a person just needed to be high school graduate to get a well paying job. Now it seems like you have to have a degree from a prestigious college, with a minor or concentration in a specialized field, an inside connection to your place of interest, and be attending a graduate school to even get considered for decent positions these days. What will not help our already slimming chances of finding our dream job or any job for that matter, is inappropriate images or content appearing on Google when an employer searches our name. I know that my father, being a business owner, searches applicants on Google before doing anything else, to judge whether they are a good candidate for his company. Now, since most employers look you up on Google before actually conducting an interview, your “digital identity” or what appears on Google can be crucial.

If they search your name and find photos of you smoking weed, drinking, partying, or doing other unsuitable activities, it doesn’t matter how delightful you think you can be during your interview, they pretty much already have their minds made up. Your digital identity holds significant weight on a social media based society that is becoming evermore engrossed in the web based world.”

Personally I try to keep my social media somewhat “pg” just because I do have employers and professors following me on one or more forms of social media. As I brought up in class, it has been drilled into our heads from an early age that what we post online affects us greatly. Because of this type of upbringing I feel as though I have always monitored my online image, which I am very thankful for.  When I google myself I find my old gymnastics scores, my pinterest boards filled with future wedding ideas and yummy recipes. I also find my facebook which is private unless I add you, my twitter account which is mainly used for school, and some old school projects which I am very proud to display.

Overall I think my digital identity is somewhat more tamed than my actual personality is in reality. So for me, unlike so may others, I think my digital identity is actually a positive aspect of my appearance.

Digital identities can affect you in so many ways. Now, more than ever, people need to be wary of what they post online.

 

Info Age Week 13 Post

This week in class, we were visited by Audrey Watters, an educational writer. We talked to her about her book and her experiences with writing and technology.  For the activity for Tuesday we were each assigned a search engine to use.  Then every group was given questions to answer about women who disguised themselves as men during the civil war,  My group was assigned the journal archive JSTOR.  One thing I learned about this, was that in order to really find something useful in JSTOR, you need specifics to search for.  It took us a while to find information that answered out questions.

On Thursday we talked about the problems and advantages of crowdsourcing.  To begin this day, we went to OpenIDEO.com and looked into one of the projects that they have running currently.  The project we focused on was the Five to Zero Challenge.  This project’s focus was to try to help parents in low-income areas around the world, ensure the survival of their children through the first five years of their lives. We were then tasked with coming up with ideas to add to the project. My group did not come up with anything significant as we wanted to focus on the education of the parents.  The ideas that we came up with had been done in multiple different forms previously. In relation to crowdsourcing, we discussed the good thinsg about crowdsourcing. One of these is the fact that you can get a lot of different perspectives on a subject. One of the bad things that we discussed, over and over again, was that even though helpful responses are given, you also often times will receive deliberately unhelpful or even hurtful responses.

What does it mean to ‘share an idea?’

Sharing an idea I think is great, but it has its consequences. Following up on our discussion of the sharing of ideas and the creation of ideas, I find that with the internet there comes problems.

For instance, take Picasso, someone who was seen as a great artist by some, and a terrible artist by others, but he was still talented. Take Charles Dickens or Jane Austen, and you have two very popular and strong literary authors, many disagree, but they had talent like Picasso. However, where does talent like mentioned prior, and the accessibility of spreading ideas on the web, end?

The argument is that with every instagram there comes a new photographer, someone who thinks they can take a picture because they placed a filter on it, or changed the brightness. Then comes facebook, where you have people posing as models because they paid $300 to have their picture professionally taken, suddenly they are the legit thing… though they are neither signed or recognized by a modeling agency. Now we have blogs, twitters, and all these other social sites that are an accumulation of identities, images, and ideas, but WHAT is talent?

Taylor Swift made a brilliant argument in her recent interview (I cannot remember the magazine) that the music industry is no longer about talent, it is about how many likes you have, how many EP’s you have, how many retweets, favorites, etc, you have on the social media site.

Now with ideas there comes some great movements, just take John Locke, Socrates, or Karl Marx. But in an age where everyone can access each other, everyone has the opportunity to have an idea, what is a movement and what is a person’s opinion becomes a challenge.

So with all these examples let us have a discussion about talent. Does the internet allow people to have talent? No. Does the internet garner leaders? No. Does the internet help spread news? Yes. Does the internet help spread ideas? Yes. And this discussion can go on and on, but then there comes a problem, unlike the past, there are so many people on the internet that you begin to wonder who is REALLY the photographer, and who is REALLY the music artist? You begin to wonder, who IS legit, and who IS actually someone like… a pornstar? Do we know? No. What proof do we have? A hometown…maybe?

See my point is, even with all these platforms and great ideas, there is no longer an idea of what is great, there is no longer a level. That is, there is no longer an image or some thing to strive for because no matter where you go, as long as you do it right, you can always have an audience. This audience can be small or large, but it is so diverse and comes in so many ways that there is no longer those epic movements, there are no longer those impacting moments of society, rather an accumulation of ideas and possibilities. Thus, everyone suddenly becomes a humanitarian.

Now I am not saying that all ideas are bad, for example the Rolling Stone’s article “A Rape on Campus,” or the New York Time’s timeline of Syria, and the ideas go on, have impacted how we perceive our world, and it has forced us to become more cohesive. But let us talk about an idea, like a backpack for men, and we suddenly see someone who thinks they have a great idea because they have an audience…

But let us be realistic, no man will ever wear a backpack like a purse.

 

One’s Digital Identity

This past week we discussed the difference between one’s personal identity and digital identity. Someone’s personal and digital identity are very intertwined, sharing many of the same characteristics, but there is more room for interpretation in the realm of digital identity. We talked for instance about are individual identites and what we found when we did a Google search of our name. In many cases we were able to find other people in the world with similar names to ours living completely different lives. The issue of being characterized by a digital identity for example during an interview process was brought up and if it was fair or not. In today’s society, using the interview process as my example, jobs look at one’s digital identity and can use it to either inhibit or prohibit them during the hiring process. One example a classmate brought up was how when she looked up her name she also found that the name was linked to someone else who had a troubled past with the authorities. This led to the conclusion that when it comes to the creation of our digital identity it may be helpful to not only raise your guard when it comes to sharing particular information, but also that it may be helpful to make your digital identity as distinct as possible, such as adding your middle name into your digital identity. Another major topic discussed in connection to our digital identities was the right to be forgotten. In the past before the advancement of the Web, it was easier to hide your past transgressions and not have them affect you in the future. However, with the advancement of the Web came to ability to retain all sorts of information for an undeterminable amount of time. Something someone does when they’re 18 can haunt them into there 40′s because with the internet everything can be easily retained and pulled up at any given time. This called for us as a class to define the line between the right to be forgotten and the right to have an informed public. An example I brought up in class was do sexual predators have the right to be forgotten? There was a clear consensus that the answer to that question was No, but yet we made a clear distinction between actions of that nature and lesser actions such as being arrested for disorderly conduct or being drunk in public. Due to the latter typically being youthful transgressions we were more lenient to allow them to have those actions be forgotten, but when it came to sexual predators there actions disqualified them for being “forgotten”. The internet allows for the public to be informed in so many different areas of society, but it also is a double-edged sword in the way that ALL fall into these guidelines and in today’s day and age it is hard to be forgotten once your information is posted to the Web.

Privacy in the Digital Age

The article “The Web Means the End of Forgetting” by Jeffrey Rosen disturbs me. I’m not that bothered by the lack of privacy on social media accounts -don’t share things if you mind the public knowing about it. What really concerns me is the potential for people’s private reputations to be ranked and made available on the internet. Maybe I’m old-school, but I think that you should primarily judge a person’s private reputation by getting to know them. I’m afraid of how subjective these ranking systems would be. So often we misjudge each other first based on a friend’s comments instead of  our own interactions. I think taking what is a normal social defense mechanism and applying it broadly to people through the internet could be detrimental to our formation of relationships. I honestly don’t want my social desirability ranked. I’m an intense, introverted person, so I would probably receive poor ratings because it takes a while for people to get to know me -something that my social media profiles do not reflect.