Dearest groundhogs (or whistle-pigs, if you please),
Apologies for lateness, but here is my first draft of the digital essay,Turning the Digital Page.
Summary: My project is primarily interested in digital archives such as The Yellow Nineties Online, and the ways in which we understand and approach archival texts in these digital contexts, as well as the processes and decisions that go into their remediation.
Note: For additional background information, I would advise reading my tabs at the top on the Yellow Book and “About this Digital Essay” before launching into the subsets of the topic I present as posts; my hope is that the posts themselves can be read in any order, but I may go in later and reorder them more effectively if you think it advisable.
Gaps and Problems: At this point, I am still trying to translate (and remediate) this project from a seminar paper to a more precise digital version of itself (plus some). This necessarily means I am in the process of adding links/images/text, as well as changing my tone and incorporation of references somewhat. I also still want to bring some of our readings from this class (Baron and perhaps another–suggestions welcome!) to bear on this topic, but have not yet done so. I think that the meat of what I want to say is there (I am fairly certain I’m already far over the word limit), but I’m still working to streamline, clarify, and beautify.
1.) I’ve been tinkering a lot with WordPress of late and I’d like to get your feedback on the appearance and ease of access of the site as it stands now. Does it work for you as a user? Is there any way I can/should guide readers more in terms of what to read first?
2.) I’m also concerned that my posts are too insular and do not clearly enough interrelate to each other and my stated goals in my introduction.
3.) What I’m most afraid of is that my project is coming off as too pedantic–that I have too much in the way of scholarship to the point of feeling clunky–and not as accessible as I’d like in terms of content–concerning level of language and my sad dearth of images and other media. Any suggestions for making it more appealing (visually and otherwise)?
Thanks for reading!
Here’s my stuff.
While humanities programs in the university are worried about their future, philosophy as a subject has quietly, but successfully, moved online. There are, of course, those who abstain from the public sphere, but philosophy has done really well online. The pages on this website are divided by method, in hopes that they can give an overall picture as to which methods work well (and for what reasons). It is also my hope that other fields can look to these public philosophers as they learn how to embrace and engage the public. My current sections are: Simulation, Illustration, Community, and Failures. Each page is divided into two sections: (1) an overview of several key online players and (2) an analysis.
Gaps or Problems:
So right now I am still drawing all of these sources together. I’ve fleshed out the pages on Community and Simulation (as well as the main, overview page), but I’m not sure that all of the pieces are working together. It seems to me that I need some process-education research or something to give my observations a framework. I mean, I can do all of the analysis that I want but there does sometimes need to be something I can tie my analysis to.
I really want to know the following:
First, how do you like the layout of the pages? Is this working for you? Why or why not?
Second, am I doing enough analysis? Should I add more examples from these works? Do I need more reasons?
The Overview worries me the most, because I feel like it’s not as interesting as I would like it to be. Any suggestions?
Also, it feels to me like I need some sort of concluding idea somewhere on the website. Does it also feel like that to you? I might be reading too much into this feeling because I’m envisioning an essay and working with a website (two very different genres).
The first draft of your digital essay is due next Tuesday, 4/29. What do I mean by draft? Allow me to quote from myself. Here’s what I wrote to my E110 class this semester:
A draft is an open and approximate version of the piece you want to write. It is not simply a set of notes, or an intro, or outline, or ideas toward an essay . . . Rather, it is an attempt to write the actual thing, the essay itself, even while knowing that you are not yet quite in a position to write that thing, that you still have more work to do.
An analogy might be to a sketch or study that an artist makes of a painting, or a demo that a musician makes of a song. The attempt in each case is to offer a sense of what the final version might look or sound like—even if all the details haven’t been worked out or filled in, and even if key parts of the piece are still open to change. I’m hesitant to use the metaphor of a rough draft, since that can suggest something hastily or sloppily done, but in a sense that is what you want to do—to rough out your essay, put together an approximate version of it as a whole, so that you can then later go back to reshape, develop, and refine it.
So that’s what I want you to try to do for next week—to create a first, working version of your essay, something that gets at what you think you want to say, but that is still open to change and revision.
So, conceptually, that’s what I’m after. In terms of logistics, here’s what I’d suggest: Create your draft. Send your writing group a URL that presents your work in progress. With your URL, write a cover memo in which you: (a) briefly summarize your project, (b) note any gaps or problems in your present draft, (c) tell us what sort of feedback you’d find most useful at this stage in your work.
- Tues,4/29, 11:59 pm: Post a link to your first draft, with your cover to this site. Use digital essay as your category.
- Thurs, 5/01, 11:59 pm: Share responses to drafts with your group members. (See Responding to drafts.) Please copy all members of the group and me on your responses to each draft.
- Fri, 5/02, class: Read through the responses to your draft. Come to class with whatever materials—online or in print—you will need to facilitate discussion of your work.
- One (Woodchucks): Janel, Michael, Gab, Heather
- Two (Groundhogs): Petra, Caitlin, Nagmeh, Chris
- Three (Gophers): Kiley, Callie, Bel, Katie