DS106 Unit 2 Reflective Blog

At the start of unit 2 I was coming in with an open mind, still in the boot camp stage of DS106 and not really knowing what to expect. All in all, I have enjoyed Unit 2 a lot more than the first unit of the course. I have found the tasks more interesting and fun to do.

The first task in unit 2 was to customize the word press blogs. First of all I started off with changing the theme; under the dashboard there are hundreds of different options to pretty much customize your blog to however you want it to look. So instead of the boring default theme, I went for something a little different; the theme I chose was called ‘Intergalactic’. Not only does my blog look smarter by changing it, I also added a header image being the DS106 logo as I thought it would be fitting, also the colour of the logo matched my blog theme quite nicely. As I want my blog to be a friendly looking place, not just a bog standard default everything. It was very easy to change the theme and everything else under this task, and more importantly, my blog looks 100 times better by tweaking a few minor things. When adding widgets, it was also pretty simple to do. In the dashboard, under the headings ‘Appearance’ and then ‘Widgets’; there is lots of available widgets for me to add onto my blog. (For now) I have added two, these include Flickr (because that’s where I post a lot of my daily create work too) and Gravatar (Which shows my photograph and gives a little description about myself). By doing all of this, my blog definitely feels a lot friendlier. It also is a lot easier to navigate through compared to when I first created the blog. It seems a lot more user friendly and appealing to the eye, because overall, who would want to ready an ugly, hard to navigate, boring blog, when the whole idea is to try new things out and have a bit of fun! Overall, whilst customizing my blog, I had no difficulties doing any of it. Word press is a very easy website to use and this was brilliant and simple, which is surely what all websites, and my blog, should definitely be like.

Links to me three Daily Creates.

‘What is it’ https://www.flickr.com/photos/128509410@N02/15668552212/ This is my first daily create for Unit 2. We were asked to make an interesting photo through blinds so the audience can guess what it is. With my photo; the blinds are in focus with the background not, leaving it to the imagination of the audience to see whats inside. I thought this was a good idea and one of the best daily creates ive seen so i did it. The photograph was taken with my Iphone 5c, then I uploaded it straight onto my Flickr account, then enhanced the image using Flickr’s settings, then uploaded using the correct hashtags as said in the daily create site.


‘Lighter’ https://www.flickr.com/photos/128509410@N02/15665384741/ My second daily create is called ‘Emoji Come Alive. In which we had to someone encorporate an Emoji into everyday use. I chose the flame Emoji and used Adobe Photoshop and inserted an lighter image that i got off of Google. Then also getting the Emoji off Google, i put them together using Photoshop. The whole process was very easy to do and having previous skills on photo editing software helped this a lot too..


‘Silhouette’ https://www.flickr.com/photos/128509410@N02/15669287302/ For this Daily Create, I had to create a miniature window silhouette of anything we wanted, so I thought zombies would be a good idea. After searching on Google for a silhouette of a zombie figure. I traced over the image on Google with a pen and paper, and then cut it out, stuck it on the window and took the photo.

15669287302_af59d73f87_o (2)

Overall for my daily create section of this unit, I have really enjoyed it. The main thing this unit that I have done better is that I have done 3. In unit 1 I only made one daily create. I guess this was because I was busy with setting everything else up and getting to grips with DS106. Now I had more time and planned my time out better, I made 3 daily creates that I’m proud of this unit. They made me use my imagination and think about how to do things; and the best way of learning to do things is to just do it. Practice makes perfect and over time I’m sure that I’ll be making (hopefully) more than 3 per unit.

I started the ‘Say it like peanut butter’ task with a very open mind. Making a GIF is something that was completely new to me as I have never done it before, of never have needed to do it before then. As we had to choose our favourite (or least favourite) film to make a GIF from. I chose my favourite film, which is Se7en. The catch was, that DS106 wasnt going to tell us how to create the GIF, we had to find out ourselves, to test our resourcefulness. As I had no idea at all how to make an animated GIF, the first thing I did was Google ‘How to make a gif’. And easily enough, there was a website called makeagif.com. I followed the simple steps on the website and finally made my gif, it only took about 5minutes as well. After it was finished I downloaded it onto my computer as a GIF file. I think that the fact DS106 didn’t give us any instructions on how to do this task was good. It makes you think and actually go out there to look for answers rather than them just giving it to you on a plate. It also gives us skills that we can use for the future, as you never know when you’ll need to make a gif. Because DS106 gave us zero information about doing the task apart from making a GIF of our favourite film. It makes us use our imagination, use our own initiative to go out and make something, and try something new, and whats the harm in that? As Neil Gaiman said in the video in Unit 1; the best way to practice making art is to MAKE ART. How good do you think you are unless you practice and make things, try something new, get out of your comfort zone and that’s exactly what this task was about, I really enjoyed it because of this


‘We are living in the middle of the largest increase in expressive capability in the history of the human race’ – Clay Shirky

Personal Cyberinfrastructure (PCI) is a tool which is used for a very particular domain; a stepping stone in the vast world of online media consumption, used to help us develop and create our own personal voice and media. If everyone online created the same media, nothing would be original, everything would just be the same; a copy of a copy. Over the years, the way we consume media has changed dramatically. For example, newspapers have developed and thrived out of being an online format as well as physical; but still have the same principal. A newspaper article online is exactly the same as in the actual newspaper, right? The digital facelift is happening as we speak, and it’s happening everywhere.

There are three recursive practices online;

Narrating: Without anyone ‘Narrating’ on the web, what would it be? If nobody was writing anything online it would just be nothing. People need to make media in order for people to share media.

Curating: Were all curators of our personal online identity. Most people nowadays have some sort of social networking sites. Facebook, Twitter and everything in between. But how we arrange and sort all this content varies massively. We put photos into online albums, songs into online playlists, and videos into online movie creators.

Sharing: Sharing media is massively important in any form of online media. If no one retweets you, then how do you get more followers. If you don’t hashtag your Instagram photos, how do you get more likes? If you don’t share that viral Facebook video, then how would it get shared more?

In this age, different consumers, may it be students, or academics etc, are all architects of their own digital lives.  We shape what we’re doing, and how were going to do it.

To me a digital facelift is what’s possible now with technology. Media is forever being updated with new technologies, and new ways to do things. Who would’ve thought 50 years ago that a book could now be updated with books online, books on tablets, books on your mobile phone. Technology will ALWAYS be updated with new, easier ways to consume media.

Overall, Unit 2 has been great, I’ve learnt new things, for example, how to make a GIF. The daily creates where also fun in this unit and overall I was pleased, also DS106 let us go out with our imaginations and find things out for ourselves without any guidance (GIF assignment). This gives us great skills on how simple things such as this. Im very much looking forward to Unit 3 as I’m now out of ‘Bootcamp’ and will start on the course properly.


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