Reflective Essay

This website helped me learn a little bit about things I never thought I would ever learn. Website design to me, seemed like a really useful skill to have. Nowadays, promoting yourself in whatever means of competitive field seems like the only way to get ahead. With so many people trying to do limited things, theres only so many different things you can see before some get pushed aside. The ones that promote, seem to rise to the top though. When the internet is being used 24/7, making a website for anything would be neat. So having that ability to put yourself out there in a proper more professional way, would be a good thing when it came to promoting. These skills will allow me to maybe one day better present something professional as an online source.

Not only did I learn skills that could help in that aspect, I learned many things to protect myself and my future work.

During my building of the project I had went over many different ideas in my head on what I actually wanted to do. I was excited about the website making, not so much about the limited choices from the special collections. Yet, I was able to finally decide on something simple, Mardi Gras. Since my family has had strong ties to both different styles of Mardi Gras I was kind of already versed on the subject. The pictures I found were interesting but much of the stuff that was in there as information was just further details on the outfit designs. It made me realize that back then it was just people getting dressed up really nice and having an event. Which is exactly what they do today. I guess some things will never change.

My Project covers Louisianas long standing tradition of Mardi Gras Balls. These Mardi Gras balls date to as far back as 1870 back in New Orleans. On Plantations they would have these balls, and the highlight of each one was the cutting of the king cake. If you found the bean inside of your piece (today its a plastic baby), you would be the king and queen for the next ball. My website shows how the balls back in 1969 through the Lafayette Troubadours Association looked, compared to the Krewe of Carencro in 2015. When doing my research I realized that most of the traditional Royalty outfits are very similar to the ones royalty will wear today. All the royalty dresses that were sketched looked just as elegant as the ones you will see today.

This project is something I could keep on going and see how many different designs for outfits I can find. The ULL Special Collections had so many more photographs that could of been used if I had the time. I could also keep it going for the present too. My parents are currently on the Krewe of Carencro. So I could keep getting pictures from them to see how long the tradition seems to stand.

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History Through Games

Video games are an outlet for people to live lives they could only dream about. Video games can take you to places in the past, future, and places that will probably or will never exist. Since video games can take you to the past, history could be explained in an entirely new way. The way it has been presented thus far can be seen as misconstrued. Just like in movies, video games tend to have a more different list of events that is usually altered by the person producing them. As someone who has played video games that can go over the past, I have seen it all to much already.

In the first reading by Mir & Owens, they discuss a game called “Civilization IV: Colonization”. I had actually played the game “Civilization V” which is the engine used in the reading discussed here. This game was slightly different but same in some ways. Like this game, there was a more state aspect, where you colonized tiles. In this game however you were trying to take over the world as any one of the many ancient civilizations that have roamed the earth. It was in a sense historical since you could learn about all these ancient civilizations, but at the same time it wasn’t. None of the civilizations would actually go through the path their civilization went down in real life. You could have Aztecs ruling the world by the end of it, which would not make any sense.

Gaming has been a huge new way to get kids and even adults to learn in a new exciting way. By setting up a problem solving situation, you can really get someone to use their brain in a way they probably never would. But by doing this, you could also get someone naive like a kid or an adult that doesn’t know better, and make them believe history the wrong way. Video games can seem less entertaining when it comes to how the set up of it is. Without proper storytelling though, entertainment can sometimes overcome the actual historical relevance.

Open the Gates

When it comes to open source I have always been a huge advocate for it. I use Soundcloud to show off my mixes, but the music I usually use isn’t mine. Djs are constantly doing this for there shows, but usually are not giving much credit to that person. I can see how people would not want things open when it comes to certain things. I feel like people do like to keep their content locked away when they can make a profit off of it. Yes its not fair to the people that want to learn from it, but I always felt like its really up to the author.

When reading the first reading, I was able to see there is a huge crowd for  open sourcing this information. This reading went into a couple of different peoples thoughts on open sourcing all information. They were at a conference on the actual topic. All of their arguments seemed like they were for it.

I think open sourcing information can be great, but I don’t agree you should force someone to. When you come up with something it should be your creation, where you can choose what you want to do. I can see how people would want certain information available to the public, but I don’t think you need to open everything. Having something that can increase your knowledge I can see being open but at the end of the day the author can really choose what to do. Maybe one day information won’t have to be paid for, and available to all.

Omeka, The Easiest Website Ever.

It is clear in the realm of digital public history that Omeka is definitely one or, the best one, when it comes to digitizing history. But what makes it so easy and nice to use? The readings I went over this week made it very clear why its such a great site, the easiness for anyone to use it. When you are building a website and literally every option is explained to you in detail what it does, it really loosens your fear of making a site. One could easily add items, add plugins, or even add whole exhibits only with a few short descriptions and a few button clicks.

Now this weeks readings also helped prepare me in using Omeka. the first three readings helped a lot in seeing how the website functions from the builders point of view. Having pictures to go with every description made it really easy to see how one would use the site. It also showed how its main use as a virtual exhibit builder really is its strong point. But even if that wasn’t your focus on your site, you could easily use it to build a site for anything.

In conclusion omega seems like a very user friendly site, which can be hard to do now a days. I personally will probably not use it for my final project, but thats just because Im not making an exhibit. But I could definitely see how one would use it to make a virtual exhibit online, and a very good one at that.

Project Proposal

My project will cover various years in pictures of historic or memorable pictures of many areas of Lafayette. I want to be able to map Lafayette but by using pictures from the Lafayette collection that contains pictures donated by people of memorable things in Lafayette. I feel like this could be useful to anyone that would be interested in seeing what Lafayette could of looked like, even just a few years ago. Im hoping to cover all of Lafayette but, if its to much I would probably go over a certain section of Lafayette. I could see residents of Lafayette, students, or anyone interested in using this. I would probably use Historypin, or Storymaps for my sitemap. I think either tool will be an excellent platform for my project.

Ideas For My Final Projects

This weeks readings were very insightful when it came to what I was thinking about doing for my final project. I felt like the readings gave me different aspects to ponder about and, also gave some nice examples. I felt like seeing a whole bunch projects from the student point of view made it more clear on how I can make my site work. Because Im not going to lie, sometimes the thought of making a website that is realistically good can seem like an impossible task. I felt like the readings this week helped to ease my mind and come up with more great ideas for what I can do with my space.

My favorite reading this week that really got my mind working was the “responsive web design” reading. I thought this reading really made you think in a way that most of us were probably not thinking before. Yes functionality, design, and ease of use is all things we think about when putting a website together. The responsive design idea really made you realize though that the literal size and space of the website itself could really make or break the site. I felt like a lot of the readings that went into design covered topics we had already went over. The examples in the first one were also things we had seen before in other examples. But I really got a lot out of making use, and making sure the space itself, is where it needs to be.

In conclusion this weeks readings helped calm me down about the slowly approaching due date of my final project. I think seeing all these examples and, getting these tips on design are really going to help in the long run. If anything I was able to see realistically what I am expected to accomplish with this site and now have better grasp of what I can make happen.

Examples of Digital History in its Different Forms

In this weeks readings, we covered a lot of subjects related to digital public history in the different forms it can present itself. I felt like all these readings gave great examples of how I could do my project. I also could see how most places like museums and companies were already utilizing technology as platforms to get this information out. Though the first reading did say that surprisingly most museums do not like to put information out there on the web.

In the first reading it went over the many ways museums are utilizing the digital age for their use. Using apps to go along with museum tours, to digital archives presented online. The sad thing I heard in this paper is that there are more museums doing nothing online or barely anything, compared to museums actually having a good online presence. It also said how most of the museums that do have a good platform are very hard to find information on their site say through google. Most of the time google searches do not bring you to the information, but with enough work searching on the website yourself you could find the information.

Collecting the present confused me, I think the information in it was presented in a strange way. It was almost as if it didn’t flow well. But I did get out of it that using things that are already out there can help you with your own personal platform on the web.

The archive reading was interesting in the fact that, it made you realize there are not just these digital archives out there that we have been talking about most of the time in class. Archives van range from tapes, to physical collections, to the digital archives we have been talking about so far. Being able to see how archives can be expressed was an eye opener.

We must preserve the digital history we already have. It is already hard enough to find good platforms of digital history. Why not use the websites we already have to either make them better or, make them easier to access. This would allow more people to access this information and also make the process of digitizing everything easier since its already there. These readings helped me realize the importance of these few archives we do have on the internet, and the importance of keeping the existing history we have on there up to date.

 

Crowdsourcing, Allowing Anyone to be a Historian

With the digital age upon us many people are allowed to put up, really whatever they want.  But with certain things like crowd sourcing, it is easy for anyone to feel like they can put up something accredited. The problem with this is most people do not understand the proper methodology in coming to conclusions with what they are presenting. Someone may think the answer is right but, with proper investigation, usually there are some missing ends. So in the age where anyone can be an historian what is stopping these citizen historians? Well most of the time, if you are doing it properly, an “expert member” or someone who is actually an accredited historian will be able to teach these new enthusiastic historians on proper methodology. Through these techniques it allows these citizen historians to learn through their mistakes and know in the future how to properly handle the information they think is correct.

Digital Public History, Why Get Mad About?

When going over the readings for the week, it seems like the digitalization of history has made things a lot more confusing. With more regulations, public historians now have to deal with the different tasks that are at hand. Not only do you have to deal with legal issues, depending on what style of digitalization you go with you might have to deal with other issues as well. Making sure that you have the right technologies, programs, or operating systems for the research to be presented can also cause problems. It seemed like a lot the authors made these points a lot more of a major issue than what they needed to be. Yes not having a program can cause an issue when trying to view certain aspects of a digital presentation, but these problems are usually not that huge of a deal. These problems can usually be fixed with a simple download from the internet. Most times a problem like that arises it is from outdated software which is not the historians fault. You shouldn’t discredit someones work just because a certain audience might not be able to view it without proper equipment. If the work helps advance public history then there shouldn’t be any negativity going into it. Instead creating more “problems” we should just access more major problems, like comparing it to a written work in its own sense.