Final Project Week One Reflection

This week I began my final project: A wiki focusing on the various aspects of knitting and crochet. My goal is to create a place where beginners can find helpful instructions and advice, and crafters of all experience levels  can discuss stitches, yarns, patterns, and media representation.

Because I had my wiki mostly set up before we began this project, I tried to make the most of the first week as an opportunity to explore the functions wikispaces, which is the wiki hosting platform I chose to use. Editing text is somewhat different from the methods used on our class wiki page. It works more similarly to Microsoft Word in that changes to the text such as creating headings or using italics or bulletpoints are done by highlighting the text and hitting the desired button, rather than using various symbol combinations (like =====heading===== and **bold**)

I was incredibly pleased with the ease with which I could incorporate pictures from Google Images (with links to the sources!) and Youtube videos. It was a little tricky figuring out which buttons did what at first (pictures are uploaded via the “files” button, and Youtube videos via the “widgets” button), but once I had figured out how to do it, it was easy to put that knowledge into practice. Next week I hope to learn to incorporate my own images, rather than Google Images, and other widgets besides Youtube videos (depending on whether or not other widgets would be helpful/appropriate).

There were several things that I found frustrating about wikispaces as well, the foremost being in the creation of new pages. While I have stuck to the convention of using CamalCase WikiWords for all pages, wikispaces doesn’t seem to have the function of creating a new wiki page whenever a new word is used. I have to manually start a new page, then go back to the page I used the WikiWord on and link the word to the page. Also, I have to do this, as the only way I’ve found that MIGHT make it so that others can create pages is to add people as members of the wiki.

As for my goal workload for the week and how it compares to what I actually did, I’d say I was mostly on track. I did have a couple sections that I meant to do yesterday that didn’t get done until today because my boyfriend’s family was in town. Beforehand I had believed they would simply arrive, pick him up, and leave, but they ended up staying the night and I got dragged along, so almost zero homeworks were done yesterday. Since no such complications should be popping up this week, I should be able to remain completely on track.

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Shame

A Banana Pepper

Through my life, my general attire has been the same. Jeans and a T-shirt with sneakers. In 6th grade, I switched jeans out for sweat pants because I could not stop growing, and therefore I could not find a pair of jeans that would comfortably fit me without me growing out of them two weeks later. I was rarely seen in a dress or skirt because I was uncomfortable in them as well as not confident in them.

In high school, I would see these girls with shorts and shirts and skirts and dresses that didn’t meet the dress code, and I generally resented them. Really, it was more because they wouldn’t get called out on breaking dress code because of who they were, and what major they were affiliated with, but other girls would. (My friend Sara got yelled at one day for wearing a tank top without a…

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Week Seven Reflection

This week’s assignment was a little more challenging than last week’s. We are still working on wiki collaboration, but we’ve had a slight change in topic, going more in-depth in our research. Last week we focused on more superficial topics (such as how to get started and the different ways wikis are used), but this wee we dove into what exactly makes writing on wikis easy or difficult, wiki literacy, social determinism, and the digital culture divide. I made contributions to the pages DigitalCultureDivide and WhatMakesWikiWritingSoHard. Records of the specific changes I made can be found on my personal pages, under DigitalCultureDivideMS and WhatMakesWikiWritingSoHardMS. While this week was a little more challenging, it was still fairly easy in that we can still produce content based primarily on our own ideas and experiences, and therefor don’t have to do very much additional research in order to contribute.

 

I had the most difficulty with writing on DigitalCultureDivide because my initial content was written under the presupposition that divide was based on whether or not wikis could be deemed credible, and that the divide could be placed on a generational line, with older generations on one side and younger generations on the other. It was pointed out to me by JennaLong that this was inaccurate, and that it was more likely to be a matter of the inexperienced vs. the experienced. Re-writing the content to reflect that idea wasn’t very hard, but it took me a while to get to it because I believed that what I had written could “hang with” what Jenna had said. It was my experience that, aside from a few exceptions, being wiki-inexperienced was congruent with being at least a generation above me. The only adult I’d known to trust Wikipedia when I was in highschool and my first years of college was my mom, and even then it was a wary sort of trust.

(Little side-story here; my mom is a tutor, and at one point the girl she was tutoring had to do a research paper. The rules for her sources stated that she could only have one online source (which in this technological age, where many academic journals are publishing their material online, is a tad close-minded). My mom suggested starting with Wikipedia, intending to use it as a method of finding other sources, and the girl FREAKED OUT. Her teachers at school had convinced her that Wikipedia was pretty much evil and should never be used for research ever.)