CHRISTEN JANINE OTTER

Reflection on Internet and Writing Studies

As I’ve mentioned, prior to taking this course, I had never practiced hand-coding before. Never. So, it goes without saying that a lot of this was very challenging in the beginning and still to some extent, still is. Throughout the course of the semester, I’ve had conversations with people and for the most part, people are not aware that coding, or ‘writing’ for the web is actually a whole language unto itself. Additionally, I think another aspect which made this course probably the most challenging one in my grad school career was trying to get a handle on the flexible grid theory, which involves a bit of math. As it goes without saying, I am a Writing Arts major, so mathematics is not exactly my cup of tea. I would say that the most helpful thing for me personally was having conferences with Professor Bill Wolff. There is a lot that is lost in translation between the classroom and the time that transpires between getting home and practicing on my own. Therefore, the end result of my site was the fruit of countless hours of trail and error and fumbling through the dark. It is extremely rewarding to now say that I build and hand-coded my own website, but it certainly did not come easy.

In terms of where I started and where I arrived, I am very pleased with my work. I think that it showcases my work in a way that is reflective of my professional persona and gives someone a taste of what I do. Additionally, because of the site is grounded in grid-based layout and responsive design, it provided me a greater capacity for professional exposure and conveys to potential employers that I care about creating a quality product that is forward-thinking and aesthetically pleasing.

Some of the major additions to the site that I am particularly pleased with are the iFrame on the New Media page, under the Portfolio. The OpenIDEO project is one of my major accomplishments and I wanted to have the capability to feature my actual work on the site somehow instead of putting a link to it and having my viewer be redirected. What the iFrame does it showcase a webpage within my site, so the viewer is able to view and scroll through the same content that is on the OpenIDEO page. One of the glitches with this is that, if you are viewing the site on an iPad or iPhone, you can’t scroll through the iFrame, however you can still see it. For this reason, I’ve included a link to the actual OpenIDEO site so that the viewer still has the option to go to the site if they’d like to view the project.

Similarly, I’ve embedded my work on Issuu into my Writing page. The downside is that the Issuu presentations don’t work on the iPhone, so you can’t see them, however I’ve included links to all of my work. On the same page, my Prezi is embedded and works on a laptop, but not on my iPhone or iPad. However, I have a link for this as well to eliminate constraints. My Radio page is still a work in progress, but I did manage to find a code online which enables me to add audio to XHTML. I have no experience in audio editing, so my fiance helped to edit the sample audio clip from a show on Cyber Bullying. (Here is the code that I found: http://www.codenique.com/html/audio_and_video/playable_music_2.php )

In sum, as I reflect on my work now at the end of the semester, I feel that my site has the potential to really evolve into something greater, but for the time being I feel what is most important, is that I have gained a knowledge base for hand-coding and responsive web design. As I’ve mentioned, my Master’s degree in Writing has a twofold concentration: Creative Writing and New Media Studies. In terms of my internet technology philosophy, I am an advocate of cultivating multiple literacies through engaging in new media writing; such as blogging, participating in social media. I believe that, inherit in digital and internet technology lies the capacity to connect people in dynamic ways and to strengthen human bonds, therefore making it a catalyst for social transformation.

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This entry was posted on January 2, 2013 by and tagged , , , , , , .

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