Thursday, May 21, 2015

Unit 15: Tools, Tools, and Tools, what exactly are tools?

After viewing the tools listed, I found disqus to be very helpful. This tool adds interaction between viewers of a webpage or blog. This would be great for my web-module assignment because viewers would be able to debate controversial topics in my assignment. For example, I'm creating a web-module assignment dedicated to the dissolution of roc-a-fella records; a controversial topic would be who won the rap beef between Jay Z and Nas. There are so many perspectives of the situation that would cause a great debate among viewers. I think this tool would be useful to college students only because disqus is used on a variety of websites online. One membership would allow users to post anywhere; usually I post comments on, but I sometimes post comments on my local online newspaper. 

As far as timeline applications, I love time toast. It is a simple application that allows the user to create a timeline. One thing that I will try is incorporate the actual timeline into the webpage instead of posting a link.

My project draft is complete, the hardest part is actually creating the webpage.  I have been watching tons of YouTube videos on how to perfect a webpage on weebly. I think it's a lot easier than in making it out to be 😑

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Unit 14: Big Picture, User Participation Projects and Crowd-Sourcing

These large-scale and interactive projects  are a great way for people to collaborate together. Crowd-sourcing is great because of all the active minds contributing to a single project. It gives you many different angles when addressing the project. 

Rap Genius is a great example of crowd sourcing. People dissect song lyrics and interpret the accuracy meaning of them. There are often debates where people question the accuracy of the song lyrics as well as the meaning behind them. As you can see, the song below has contributions from 7 people all together. 

Unit 13: Data Visualization

The Internet has changed the world dramatically. In terms of digital history, people have been able to exchange ideas and information like never before. This is particularly special with historians in the eastern world with rare physical documents. 

Digital archives are virtually endless or expandable for many reasons. Someone could digitalize information and add it to the archive as they please; they could also remove the information as they please. The process of adding and removing files from a regular history archive could take forever. 

I believe that historians should take the direction of working together for the greater good while retaining some sort of self-identity. What I mean is that, historians should try to stand out as much as they can. Although, everyone should contribute to the best of their ability to draw the most accurate conclusions as possible. It makes no sense for historians to work against each other despite the ideologies, theories, or beliefs. 

Unit 12: Digital Online Archives

I took a look at the northern Virginia digital history archive and found it to be kind of interesting. It gave the history of northern Virginia for the last 50 years. It was fairly easy to use; even for someone with no computer knowledge. 

If I could change one thing about the NOVA archive, just add a little design to it. I would also find a way to market it more so that more people can contribute to it. 

One digital history archive that I have been associated with was the Gaskin archives on The strengths are that there are so many people contributing antique documents to the archive. The weakness is that me and my father are the only ones transcribing and Digitalizing the information. 

Unit 10: What Is Real and Not Real in the Digital and Real Worlds

This subject has been very interesting to me. I purchased a book a few weeks ago entitled Virtually you: the dangerous powers of the E-personality by Elias Aboujaoude. This ties into the reality and fantasy of the digital world for a few reasons. The user online can virtually be whoever they please; whether they choose to be themselves or a fantasy created avatar.

In terms of digital history you have to be aware of what is and isn't factual. If the moderator consistently told lies and abstract information, it would be wise to hear what they say for entertainment purposes; I just wouldn't take them serious.

In some cases, it's hard to decipher reality from non-reality online. Manipulating propaganda can influence the fantasy of a situation in many ways. Primary sources such as videos, pictures, and eyewitnesses can be turned into something that it is not. I just feel that it's up to the reader to use common sense when examining something online. 

Unit 9: the Information Age

I have been back and forth about what my project should be about. My original plan was to create a web module assignment about Jay Z and rocafella records. I decided to expand more on that idea. 

I plan to create an archive full of information from my personal account. It will be a mixture of informative facts and entertainment. I was inspired by the website because of how accessible and knowledgable the moderator was. The rocafella web module assignment will be a branch of the entire website. There will be more web module assignments that will cater to my interest. 

My goal is to stimulate readers and possible students about different topics of interest. One thing I'm concerned about is presenting accurate information. I would hate for someone to suggest that anything I'm presenting is inaccurate and deter my followers away. I would also take time to make the webpage as eye appealing as possible. This would include having an updated website, decorative webpage, and accessible links. 

One thing I have thought about was having the web module assignments 
Incorporated into professor Evans course. This would give more of a variety of topics to choose from when doing a web module assignment. For example, Kendrick Lamars new album, to pimp a butter fly, is filled with knowledgeable information that slips right under our nose. His song entitled complexion sheds lights on how Africans discriminate against each other in terms of skin complexion. This broad and simple example has the potential to become a fun ex resize to students. 

Unit 8: Digitalizing and sourcing images

I recently had the opportunity to digitalize a 1880 census from warren county Mississippi. I had to transcribe the physical document to a word document more or less. The census was in immaculate condition which made my job very easy. The most imporant tools for me were photoshop and windows media player. These tools allowed me to adjust the picture quality and zoom in as needed. Again I have to reiterate how simple my transcription was compared to the work most historians have to go through.

There are many sources for digitalized for materials. Social media seems to be a great outlet in my opinion because of how the information reaches the masses so quickly. After reading the previous chapter about copyright, we have to wonder if digitalization violates or supersedes copyright infringement. 

None the less, this chapter affects my project for a number of reasons. I want to avoid copyright infringement by all means, so I have to be prepared to cite all of the used images and materials. 

Unit 7: copyright and the web

Copyright is very important when it comes to digital projects. The information that one chooses to use on a digital project may violate someone's copyright. 

For the final exam, I was asked to critique This was a website with plenty of copyrighted material from the author, crystal. The reason this information is so valuable is because it's her intellectual property that she feels should be protected. This copyright will protect others from reusing or stealing her work.

There is the fair use act that is the alternative to asking permission of copyrighted work. This is constituted in cases criticism, comments, news reporting, and teaching. 

I examined the website, teachers pay teachers, in order to determine the ethics and legality of the site. Based on what I observed, this seems to be a pretty ethical place to exchange and by teaching materials. The teachers will sell the website owners original material. The owners now sell the material to education institutions or teachers. The owners of the website have to be extremely careful not to obtain material that isn't original because of copyright infringement. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Unit 5: Building a Web Culture

After examining different websites for design options, I understand the importance of a well designed blog; this can either make or break the blog. I say this because a poorly designed blog site can deter a potential audience from viewing your work. On the other hand, a well designed and easily accessible blog will make users more comfortable with your site. 

Kevin's blog on digital history:

I'm just experimenting on how to use my smartphone in order design my blog. I'm not the most technical person but it seems real easy. There are plenty of applications in the Apple Store that allow someone to design a blog. 

In terms of my final project I feel as if my web presence must be felt in all aspects. A well-designed webpage is a must when attracting a prominent audience. I considered making a webpage on Roc-La-Familia: The Rocafella records dynasty. I wish to include pictures, audio (if possible), background design, and tabs that make navigation easy for all viewers. I'm pretty familiar with timetost so I would love to incorporate a well though out timeline on the webpage. To sum it up, a well designed webpage or blog is appealing to the eye and is what catches the viewers attention. 

Unit 4: Evolution of the Digital Web

We are covering the evolution of the digital web this week. Below are a few websites listed in chronological order that have been created within the last 15 years.

  • The Valley of the Shadow (1993)
  • Romantic Circles (1994)
  • American Memory (1994)
  • Dickinson Electronic Archive (1994)
  • Amiens Cathedral Project (1996)
  • Life Outtacontext (2001)
  • Hawthorne in Salem (2002)
  • Hurricane Digital Memory Bank (2005)
  • Eye Level (2005) 
  • Oyez (2005)
  • Digital Karnak (2008)
  • The April 16 Archive (2007)
  • The Avalon Project (2008)
  • In Our Path (2008)
  • Persepolis: A Virtual Reconstruction 
  • Lascaux 

  • The level of sophistication is factored by a number of things. The date in which it was created indicates how old the archive is. Although the date of creation is important, we have to take into account how often the achieve was updated. The Valley of the Shadow, for example, was created in 1993, but updated up until 2007. This website specifically isn't as sophisticated as it could be in my opinion. On the contrast, it is easier to navigate and access information than some of the more advanced websites. The April 16 Archive isn't overwhelming, but there is a lot of accessible information that may be too much for some viewers. These websites have changed within the last 15 years as the emergence of new technology came about. There are more third party applications, such as time-toast, that can present information in a more developed manner. is a great website that allows someone to access digital history in an easy way. This site specifically give you access to World War documents if you choose to purchase the material. this website is actually better than the first one n my opinion. It examines history in a way that's easy to navigate. I specifically like this website because it gives great references and resources as to where the information came from.

    Unit 3: The multi-talented blog

    Blogs can be used to study history in various ways. The interaction between bloggers and followers allows the exchange of ideas at an increasing rate. Twitter, for example, is a social media blog that some historians use to discuss information or findings. Twitter allows people to comment, retweet, and favorite  posts that a follower may find interesting. The retweet function is phenomenal because this allows a post to spread throughout the Twitter world in seconds. I believe that this social media tool is a great way to study history because one has the potential to spread their post to the masses in seconds; right or wrong.

    On the other hand, there are plenty of issues when determining the level of authority of a blogger. Anyone can create a blog and call theirselves a historian. Validity is what determines the level of authority. This is important because once a blogger loses credibility, it's hard for people to believe what is posted. The level of education is also important because this indicates that you have some sort of expertise in the field. Grammatical errors show a lack of effort in my opinion. 

    To sum it up, there are multiple ways a historian can use blogs to engage in the study of history. The problem lies in how valid the information is and how credible the sources are. Historians who promote credible information shouldn't have a problem building an audience. 

    Tuesday, March 3, 2015

    Unit 2: The Local Digital History Scene

    I found the text be very informative. It gave a positive and negative perspective on digital history. On one hand, digital history is great because of how easily accessible it can be. On the other hand, you have to worry about the credibility, any possible biast, and the quality of the work. 

    I personally just use common sense when assessing information online. When I see blogs that are bias and opinion written, I always keep in mind that they are trying to defend their ideology at any cost.

    With me blogging from my cell phone, digital history has never been more accessible! I am really excited because I can finally rant professionally as a historian. It's pretty cool because I can access digital history from virtually anywhere, thus making history sources endless; credible and uncredible.

    I was thinking about creating a content based website dedicated to some part of history using blogger. I feel like this would give me an opportunity to research a topic of interest and elaborate on my theories. 

    In general, I feel as if the internet affects how millions of people learn. The purpose of online reading is to make reading more adaptable in the 21st century. Technology such as tablets have made reading a variety of books as easy as ever.