The Digital Divide

Last week for discussion, we as a class discussed the effects of there being a digital divide present amongst different societies. The distinct difference in information accessibility between different countries has created a barrier between societies when it comes to information knowledge. A question that was posed by one of the discussion leaders was, does the U.S.A. for example have a duty to aid other countries in the development of information accessibility? Most of the class was in agreement that it was not the U.S.A.’s duty to help, but that there were benefits to helping other countries. The process of helping some society develop is an expensive one, but with that amount of resources comes influence. Other countries are going to be more willing to allow foreign countries to influence their daily actions if that country is significantly impacting the inner workings of their society. Another question was posed about how would we be able to detect what certain countries were spending their time looking up if there was no digital divide. One of the ways I proposed was looking at the infrastructure of the society. For example, if the country of Sudan has an advanced sanitation system one would be able to infer that that is what they spent a majority of their time looking up and developing. Another topic brought up in class was how women are at a massive disadvantage in foreign societies when it comes to access to information, and even societies as a whole when under certain governmental regimes. This gender, and these people living under these regimes are given either little or no access to certain information that may be detrimental to gender roles or how society is set up.

Propaganda Campaign

This week (10-28/10-30) we were asked to make a propaganda campaign. Originally Jack, Jess, and I were going to make a dictatorship that ruled over the entire world, but Jess and I thought it would be a whole lot more fun if we divided it up Guys vs Girls. Naturally Jess and I told Jack what countries we wanted to have power over and he caved, giving us exactly what we wanted once again. So Jess and I took most of the northern countries including all of Europe, Russia, North America, Australia, and we wanted the middle east for its oil. We left Jack with Africa, Antarctica, and some bits of South America.

We created propaganda campaigns with this background story:

Jack, Jess and I use to rule over the world in harmony, until one day things went wrong. As the three leaders we were having trouble agreeing on some key issues (mostly gender related) and this caused many countries to start fighting one another. The solution: to divide up the world into Northern and Southern hemispheres. The female leaders ruling the Northern countries and Jack ruling the Southern ones. This solution worked for a little while until some of the countries broke out in war because they wanted to defect to the opposing hemisphere. The new solution: Have one day a year that the countries can vote to defect to the other side. Leading up to voting day these propaganda campaign would be shown on TV trying to convince each of the countries to either stay in their hemisphere or defect to ours.

I would say these turned out to be quite entertaining! The most fun part was watching Jack struggle to say sexist things without going overboard. He kept looking at Jess and I for approval. He would write a line into our google docs script then look up from his computer at the two of us with this expression on his face like “too far?”

These were exciting to make and not particularly hard to do either! Enjoy!


Picture & Sound Citations:

Bolton, Humphrey. “Wentworth Castle, Stainborough.” Photograph. September 13, 2009.,, (accessed October 22, 2014).

Chang, A. “Korean War Fallen Soldier.” Photograph. August 28, 1950., (accessed October 22, 2014).

Crumb, Graham. “Dandan.” Photograph. December 22, 2009., (accessed October 22, 2014).

Flood, Kyle. “Waaah!” Photograph. February 20, 2007.,!.jpg (accessed October 22, 2014).

“Kids playing basketball in Farah.” Photograph. May 23, 2010. U.S. Embassy Kabul Afghanistan, _in_Farah.jpg (accessed October 22, 2014).

Peterson, Aaron. “U.S. Navy team detonate expired ordnance in the Kuwaiti desert.” Photograph. July 12, 2002. United States Navy, wiki/File:US_Navy_020712-N-5471P 010_EOD_teams_detonate_expired_ordnance _in_the_Kuwaiti_desert.jpg (accessed October 22, 2014).

U.S. Navy. “Korean War Navy Gun Fire.” Photograph. December 26, 1950. U.S. Navy, (accessed October 22, 2014).

Webb, Sarah R. “Afghan girls from Ghazni province.” Photograph. November 30, 2009. United States Air Force, Ghazni_province.jpg (accessed October 22, 2014).

Radio Broadcast

Our assignment this week (9/30-10/2) was to create a radio broadcast. There was really no instruction to follow other than to produce one, so we decided to take a futuristic approach to the assignment. We thought that it would be fun to make a “live” radio broadcast of an alien invasion. We met in the ITCC to choose a room in which to record the script we created, and let me tell you, I never knew how important acoustics are until we began this project. Each room we tried out was either occupied or the “acoustics were all wrong” according to Jack. Once we found the perfect room in which to record, I literally could hear the difference between the recordings from different rooms. We chose to do our recordings in the ITCC Mezzanine.

Once we began recording it became apparent that Jess could not be anywhere near the mic, because of the abundant amounts of giggling that was coming out of her! To her defense it was quite entertaining listening to Bruce pretending to be the Alien Overlord.

Once we were done recording the script Jack edited it all together and uploaded it to soundcloud.


Sound citations (in alphabetical order) All sound effects are from FreeSound:

Afleetingspeck. “Sample Request: Fear.wav.” January 7th, 2012. FreeSound.  (Accessed September 29, 2014).

Corinator. “Censor Bleep.” June 7th, 2013. FreeSound. (Accessed September 29, 2014).

Cydon. “Spacebattle with laserwaepons001.wav.” September 9th, 2011. FreeSound. (Accessed September 29, 2014).

Harpoyume. “Explosion 3.aif.” December 19th, 2009. FreeSound. (Accessed September 29, 2014).

NoiseCollector. “sendtube.wav.”November 14th, 2008. FreeSound. (Accessed September 29, 2014).

Sironboy. “Woman Scream.”October 23rd, 2011. FreeSound.  (Accessed September 29, 2014).

Final Project: “Views Are My Own”

For our final project Jessica Reingold, Jack Hylan, and myself decided to make a documentary about digital identities. The term digital identity has just recently come into being, and our goal for this project was to get people discussing what this term means, and more specifically what it means for them personally. We interviewed UMW staff, UMW students, and even a guest speaker who made an appearance at UMW to talk about digital history topics. We interviewed twelve people total and our questions included:

  1. What is a digital identity?
  2. How many different digital identities do you have?

-if more than 1 continue to question 3.

-if only 1, go to question 5.

  1. Which digital identity is your least favorite?
  2. Which digital identity is your favorite?
  3. What is your digital identity (your favorite one) like? How would you describe it/them?
  4. On a scale of 1-5, 5 being the same person to your real identity(personality) how similar is your digital identity to you?
  5. Why do you make your digital identity this way?
  6. Which do you prefer? Your digital identity or your in person identity?

Once we finished our interviews, we edited the footage using Final Cut Pro and iMovie. Lets just say this step took quite some time! I think we spent more time in the ITCC than in our own homes those few days! But, it was well worth the effort. I may be a bit biased, but I think the documentary turned out to be amazing. It ended up being around 16 minutes, which is a little long for a documentary project of this size, but everyone’s answers were so vital to understanding the concept we felt we had to include as much as we did.

The tools we used include:


Final Cut Pro



Google Drive-Google Doc, Google Spreadsheet

Doodle Poll

Canon (?) HD Camcorder

Canon EOS Rebel T5 DSLR Camera

2 Tripods

Green Screen

3 LED Film Production Lights

Sennheiser Lapel Microphone

BenSound Royalty Free Music

Incompetech Royalty Free Music



This week (11/25-11/27) we made our own infographics. For those of you who have never heard of or used an infographic before, provides a good definition of what exactly they are. This websites defines an infographic as  “a visual image such as a chart or diagram used to represent information or data.”

Our group decided to make an infographic about pumpkin pie. Since Thanksgiving was just two days away it seemed fitting! We wanted to provide a visual timeline about the history of pumpkin pie.

Here is a link to our infographic: pumpkin pie infographic

I had never made an infographic before, and honestly wouldn’t have even known where to start. Luckily, I had two computer wizes in my group who were able to show me what internet tools to use and how it should be properly created. Infographics are not only (hopefully) easily readable but intriguing ways to relay information.

What is privacy?

Privacy is an ambiguous terms that has different meanings among different generation of people. The idea or concept of privacy is interesting because it reveals a gender divide that many people forget still exists well into the twentieth century. In my case I always think about my parent’s view of privacy and then my own view of privacy, and I realize how radically different each view is when compared. However playing in the larger context on when is privacy good and when is it violated I think traces back to the fundamental ideal of what is privacy.

When you go online you automatically know you are interacting within a public environment and among a public community. This is a personal choice one makes the moment they begin to interact with an online social community. However, there is an argument to be made that the usage of privacy in the sense that anything anyone puts on in a public setting should not be violated I believe has no validity.

For instance, facebook, intagram, and twitter do not charge you to use their site, nor do they force you to deal with annoying ads (as of now facebook is working on preventing businesses from entering your timeline on a frequent basis through posts and status updates as well as pictures). If these sites do not charge you to use their site, then I do not quite understand the reason people advocate to push for their private information to be their private information. Secondly, most people already knew through their choice that they were publishing on an active public network, obviously to garner attention from their active public network, so how is that even private?

Now lets say Facebook begins charging you for your usage on their site, then yes all of our posts should be private because we are paying for our autonomy as well as signifying that we want a limited audience and a small group acknowledging our posts. Like ancestory, which charges members monthly, all information is stored for your conveinance unless stated otherwise by the member. This is also true for other websites you pay for like Sirius XM and JSTOR, which all have limited accessible communities, and whose communities choose to be limited and accessible.

In conclusion, the whole idea that privacy should be defined and respected is a paradox. It is even more ironic when you understand the reason why people have social media sites.

Final Project

Click here to view the embedded video.


For our final project, we decided to focus on online databases and primary/secondary sources and how with the creation of online databases, access to both primary and secondary sources have increased.

We chose to interview Dr. Poska, American Studies/History and Gender Studies professor at UMW, in order to get her opinion on using online databases during her own research. I got in contact with Dr. Poska to arrange the interview, and Amy, Carla and I all met to sit in the interview. I had previously sent Dr. Poska the questions I wanted to ask, and even though some of our questions were no longer relevant as we had changed our topic slightly, I felt like we still got good information and clips to use for our documentary; Dr. Poska had lots of personal experience with researching with and without online databases. (We also got information that was interesting to hear, even if it didn’t fit into what we needed)

After we had completed the interview, we all got together to put the documentary together. Amy was in charge of actually making the documentary, Carla recorded voice-overs, and we all searched for music and decided on the order of the presentation of our information.



Activity for Thursday:

Table 1 – Bangladesh

Table 2 – Peru

Table 3 – Sudan

Table 4 – Tajikistan

What social, political, and economic obstacles have caused these countries to become affected by the digital divide?