Archive for December, 2011

Final Project and Final Blog

Friday, December 16th, 2011

For my last project, I worked with Ashley, Joe, and Nicole on a documentary about the evolution of the ds106 class. It was an interesting project on several levels. Personally, I was a member of Groom’s original ds106 class, and so charting the evolution was an interesting experience for me. I got to see how the course had shifted and refined itself, and talk to a number of people including Groom himself about what the course provides students with. I was particularly amused by the discussion of the Summer of Oblivion (something which ultimately did not make it into the documentary). I followed the Summer 2011 ds106 course peripherally via twitter and, but had never quite understood entirely what was going on. As such, watching the videos on it and hearing Groom and Martha discuss the plot and evolution of the idea of Oblivion was quite fascinating. Sadly, our video was already quite long without the addition of a summary of the Summer of Oblivion, but personally I enjoyed finally figuring out what had been happening.

I helped film several interviews, and also cut together the video and inserted graphics. There were, of course, technical difficulties (there always are). There were more than we had anticipated, though, which made for an exciting few hours before the project was due. The computer in the dml was not enjoying working with us, and Premiere was repeatedly crashing, so to avoid this I ended up having to cut together much of the video in AfterEffects. AfterEffects is not designed for video editing, though – it is designed for graphics. One major side effect of this is that you cannot hear audio without fully rendering the timeline of video (a long, time consuming task, and one that crashed AE when I tried). So all of the b-roll (the video or images that played over the interview) was added to the video based on what I remembered the video saying, because I had no way of knowing exactly what people were talking about. It was quite an adrenaline rush, if in a terrifying sort of way. Ultimately, given the issues we had with technology, I feel like we managed to create quite a good product! I am quite happy with the overall result.

Final Project/Last Blog

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

For my final project I decided to pair up with Abby and standardize all the citations on the timeline.  This was a challenge for me since I have never excelled at footnotes or citations in general.  I considered this to be a great challenge that I would over come and I did.  I got encouragement along the way from Abby and I was grateful to have her as my partner.  We got tripped up at first on how we were going to do the citations, however after that hiccup we were well underway.  We choose the style of the citation standardization with Professor McClurken and then sat down and did visual sketches of each type of citation we could possibly come across.  This helped me immensely considering I am a visual learner by nature.  Once shown I can almost always pick it up.  Abby and I discussed things like putting image source and source in front of all citations where they were warranted to help visitors to our blog understand what they were individually.

I enjoyed this challenge and hope to carry this with me into the future.  The things that I can look forward to taking with me through my college career is the ability to be better at public speaking, knowing how to make a documentary, and better understanding the digital world around me and how it and I effect the future of our history for the better or worse.  I think my favorite assignment in the class would have to be the print ad.  I had great partners and we had some really good ideas.  It was fun to take this random topic and do what you see only in magazines.  It was highly challenging, but I felt as though it brought our group that much closer and bonded us through out the semester.

If I could give a word of advice to my peers coming to take this class.  Don’t think this will be easy.  There will be times when you want to pull you hair out and just scream cause you don’t know what you are doing.  However that’s where the fun begins.  This class is not an individual effort it’s a group effort.  Without one it’s not the same as having all.  And remember while it may be stressful, have fun with it.

And in the spirit of the holidays. Merry Christmas!

My Christmas in my apartment style dwellings.

Final blog post

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Going in to this final project I was excited to be working on a documentary that was more personal and locally based then on the digitization of the library catalog. I was also slightly apprehensive because DS106 was something that never heard of until Joe had contacted me about doing a documentary for  the final project of History of the Information Age. For this project I worked primarily on the rough cuts and basic editing for the project. This worked for me from the standpoint of becoming a lot more confident in using Adobe Premiere. I also really liked being able to see all the footage that we managed to collect from 8 different interviews.  There was a lot of effort then went into the interviews and I was ever able to work another project like this again I would defiantly be interested in participating in the interviewing aspects of the documentary. Picking out the music for  the DS106 documentary was interesting because I originally had searched for something similar to the music used in the Library Catalog Digitization project. However we as a group ended up deciding to go with music that had more of a grunge feel to it, as that fit better with the topic of the documentary. Part of the footage that we ended up editing out that  I wish he had put into the documentary was  to role of digital identity in DS106. I thought it was interesting that Jim Groom discussed digital identity as something that he wanted students of DS106 to come out of class caring about. Charlie talked about his owned experiences with digital identity which was ultimately probably too personal for the documentary. Out of the footage that did not make it into the documentary the stuff on digital identity was probably the most interesting to me, especially given out discussions of it in class.

Final Project

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Throughout this entire semester, we as a class have studied many forms of communication.  We have discussed cave paintings and the beating of drums all the way up to the current day iphones and social networking media.  However, we were not able to cover everything.  One of those forms of communication that was never mentioned was the pamphlet.  The pamphlet is a small informational piece that provides some sort of information to the reader.  They were pertinent in American History during
several eras.  However, they were extremely important for the colonies during the Revolutionary Period from about 1730 to 1780.

The most famous pamphlet during this era might have been written by Thomas
Paine.  Common Sense was a pamphlet written in 1776 that literally could alone spark the Revolution.  Over the course of the pamphlet, Paine attacked Britain for all the atrocities that the “Mother Country” had committed.  What was amazing
about this piece is that Continental Congressmen brought home copies of Common Sense to families across the continent.  In fact, South Carolina
delegate Christopher Gadsen passed out the pamphlet while carrying the famous
yellow flag that read “Don’t Tread on Me,” while reading Paine’s pamphlet.  It may have outraged many Loyalists, but from Gadsen to Jon and Samuel Adams in Boston, Common
was everything to them in order to persuade the colonists to start a
war.  The pamphlet went across countrysides, rallying the cause to start a war.[1]

One of the pamphlets that became famous for a different reason was Thomas Whately’s
letters concerning the Stamp Act of 1765. Whately was an English politician who wrote letters in Britain discussing the fairness of the Stamp Act. Of course theses letters were compiled into pamphlets in the colonies, and were then passed out around taverns for colonists to read.  The problem with Whately’s pamphlet was that it showed the mistake the British made: it made it clear that the colonists were not even given the opportunity
to tax themselves.  This of course angered the colonists, and this lead to many problems for the British trying to govern this tax law.[2]

Another Revolutionary pamphleteer is James Otis of Massachusetts.  Now, Otis did write many pamphlets, but what made his pamphlets famous was the speech he gave on the Writs of Assistance in 1761.  Former President John Adams said that Otis “…was a flame of fire.  With a promptitude of classical allusions, a depth of research, a rapid summary of historical events and dates, a profusion of legal authorities…he carried away all before him.”[3]  Otis was a great speaker and his words after his most famous speech was put into a pamphlet in the colonies.  By defending the merchants against the Crown Lawyers (royal British lawyers), Otis in the pamphlets became another fixture of hope towards breaking away from Britain, and the pamphlets circulated the colonies as a reminder of that.[4]

“If they had, and I imagine no American will fay, they had not, then the parliament
had no right to compel them to execute it.”[5]  Spoken by John Dickinson, these words echoed in his letters as colonists grew tired of the abuses of the British.  From 1767 to 1768, Dickinson’s works were reprinted into pamphlets in the 13 colonies, specifically discussing the Townshend Acts.  Dickinson took the role of a regular farmer, but using his intellect, told a persuading tale of how Britain’s overbearing rule on the colonies was affecting this particular person’s livelihood.  For several years, his works were constantly looked at for their perspective, but also for the fact that they told an intriguing tale.[6]

Now, pamphlets are seen everywhere in America today.  They are small, compact, and provide great amounts of information.  But when this nation was first starting, pamphlets were used as an extremely powerful tool to will the colonists to fight back against the British.  During my research, I was not able to find statistics on this particular area for the amount of pamphlets produced, but many quotes were found coming from former Congressmen and Presidents during this era.  These pamphlets were used as a
war cry, a spark to fight for a much greater cause than some of us realize.  Had it not been for these pamphlets, they may not have been enough supporters to fight back against Great Britain.  That would definitely change how the world is today.

[1] Harvey J. Kaye, Thomas Paine and the Promise of America (London: Macmillan Publisers, 2006), 50-56.

[2] Edmund Sears Morgan, The Stamp Act Crisis: Prologue to Revolution (Chapel Hill: UNC Press Books, 1995),50-64.

[3] James Otis, Famous Orators of the World and Their Best Orations (Philadelphia: J.C. Winston Company, 1902), 23.

[4] Ibid., 23-25.

[5] John Dickinson, Letters From a Farmer, in Pennsylvania, to the Inhabitants of the British Colonies (London: Oxford University Press, 1774), 8-9.

[6] John Dickinson, The Writings of John Dickinson: Political Writings 1764-1774 Volume 1 (Philadelphia: The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1895), 279-287.


Digital Storytelling 106 Documentary

Thursday, December 15th, 2011
Digital Storytelling 106 is a Computer Science class that was created and is headquartered at the University of Mary Washington. Prior to 2010, the class was taught by University adjunct Professor Alan Dean. Dean’s approach to the class was focused primarily on the art of storytelling, and secondly on the technology used to convey those stories. In 2010, Jim Groom, an Instructional Technologist in the Department of Teaching and Learning Technologies, was asked to take over additional sections of the class. Groom’s conceptualization of DS106 was that of a creative, collaborative online community. Because the class already relied heavily on Web technologies, Groom opened his section of the course up to the broader online community. In Groom’s massive open online course, individuals on the Internet are able to recommend and complete various assignments and contribute to the class without being enrolled at the University of Mary Washington.  This entirely novel conceptualization of what constitutes a “class” has taken DS106 in fascinating and unique directions, including DS Radio and a short-lived DS Television Station, as well as a freewheeling summer murder mystery known as the “Summer of Oblivion.” In this documentary, Jim Groom and Alan Dean, as well as a variety of former students and interested faculty, discuss the history, implications, and future of DS106. Bibliography: Burtis, Martha. Interviewed by Caitlin Murphy and Nicole Steck, December 10 , 2011, DuPont Hall, Fredericksburg, Va. Dean, Alan. Interviewed by Joe Calpin, December 14, 2011, Dean residence, Prince George, Va. Ellis, Leigh Ann. Interviewed by Joe Calpin, December 13, 2011, Ellis residence, Fredericksburg, Va. Girard, Charlie. Interviewed by Caitlin Murphy, November 28, 2011, Monroe Hall, Fredericksburg, Va. Groom, Jim. Interviewed by Nicole Steck and Caitlin Murphy, December 10, 2011 , Groom residence, Fredericksburg, Va. Owens, Tim. Interviewed by Joe Calpin, December 14, 2011, DuPont Hall, Fredericksburg, Va. Whalen, Zach. Interviewed by Caitlin Murphy, December 13, 2011, Combs Hall, Fredericksburg, Va. Woodward, Tom. Interviewed by Joe Calpin, December 3, 2011, Henrico County School, Henrico, Va.
Image Sources:

Radio Broadcasting Commercials throughout the 20th Century

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Only a few years after the first radio broadcasting proved a success, businesses began utilizing this new form of broadcasting information out to the public.  By promoting commodities and material goods over radio waves, companies could cover a greater area of listeners at all times of the day and night.  Since the early 1920s, companies all across the United States have employed the services of radio broadcasting stations to get there products and services out on the market and directly to the listeners.  Over the decades since, the styles and formats of these radio commercials have adapted and changed to the times and the people listening.  While commercials have been updated over the years, there are two distinct periods that can classify two different types of radio advertising: pre multi-sponsored advertising and post multi-sponsored advertising.

The advent of radio communication marked a new beginning for advertising.  During its humble beginnings, Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover claimed it was “inconceivable that we should allow so great a possibility for service and for news…to be drowned in advertising chatter.”[1]  Therefore corporate sponsors could not directly advertise their product to the people.  However, advertisers were able to find loopholes in this clause.  The basic ways to bend the broadcasting rules were for advertisers to sponsor an entire show and drop indirect hints of their product throughout the program.  The first commercial ever on radio airwaves included a 10 minute radio program discussing an apartment complex called Hawthorne Heights by a Queensboro Corporation representative.  During the program, the representative never discussed the pricings of the apartment complex.  The representative simply advertised “a life away from the hustle and bustle of the big city.”[2]  Not only did Hoover condone the use of direct sponsorship over the air, corporate sponsors were fearful direct advertising would alienate listeners.[3]  In a certain case, the Colgate-Palmolive-Peet company hosted a Palmolive Variety Hour, featuring two singers called Paul Oliver and Olive Palmer.[4]  The sponsor was indirectly advertising the Palmolive product by fusing the product and the program.[5]  This style of advertisement was popular throughout the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, but as the prevalence of FM radio took hold during the 50s and especially the 60s, a movement towards multi-sponsored advertising took hold.

FM radio began to become more popular and listeners of a new generation began to express the need for broadcasting certain genres of music on the radio waves.  Instead of broadcasting variety shows and competing with television, radio stations broadcasted rock and roll music among other genres to Americans across the country.  Corporations picked up on the transformation and sought to promote their products on multiple frequencies throughout the entire day.  However, more sponsors meant less air time for each commercial so it’s no surprise that the length of the commercials decreased.  Starting in the 60s and 70s, commercials averaged under a minute and normally ended around 30 second mark.  Advertisers needed to become creative and add more than just a jingle to their commercials.  Commercials started to take on comedic qualities or tried to act more conversational as opposed to previous commercials where companies utilized experts in certain fields to persuade consumers.  In a Toyota commercial from the 1970s a man is taken on a driver’s test that goes awry when the driver gets a little dangerous.  Another mean of advertising included the usage of celebrities in commercials.  N’Sync was used on a Chili’s commercial and Britney Spears was used in a Pepsi ad during the 90s and 00s.  The necessity for companies to stay current with popular trends and culture took hold of advertising and weaponized comedy and pop-culture icons as talking advertisements.

Radio has recently taken the backburner to many other modes of communication and advertising including television and the internet.  However, radio is still an important tool for companies to communicate to a mass number of people.  While virtually all radio stations practice the multi-sponsored form of advertising, this technique proves beneficial to listeners, companies, and radio stations.  Listeners hear more of a variety of advertisements including certain local events that can be entertaining, companies can advertise using several radio stations and throughout the day instead of just during their sponsored show, and radio stations can receive more money from competing corporations for shorter time slots.  Radio broadcasting has still proven itself to be an effective means of communication to a large, populated area and the evolution of broadcasting from its primitive forms of the 1920s benefit listeners, companies, and radio stations alike.



Blackwell, H.M. Hawthorne Court Apartments, 1922., (accessed December 14, 2011).

Bartlett, Tommy. Cheer, 1953., (accessed December 14, 2011).

Collyer, Clayton. Duz, 1951., (accessed December 14, 2011).

Downey, Gregory. Technology and Communication in American History (American Historical Association, New York: 2011).


Holden, Jack. Alka Seltzer, 1933., (accessed December 14, 2011).

Kawasaki, 1976,, (accessed December 14, 2011).

Lifebuoy, 1945,, (accessed December 14, 2011).

Marx, Richard. Trojan Condoms, n.d., (accessed December 14, 2011).

Newman, Kathy. Radio Active: Advertising and Consumer Activism, 1935-1947 (University of California Press, Los Angeles: 2004).

N’Sync, Chili’s Babyback Ribs, 2000,, (accessed December 14, 2011).

Quartet, The Wheaties. Have You Tried Wheaties, 1926., (accessed December 14, 2011).

Real American Heroes, Mr. Chinese Food Delivery Guy, 2000,, (accessed December 14, 2011).

Spears, Britney. Joy of Pepsi, 2002., (accessed December 14, 2011).

Toyota, 1975,, (accessed December 14, 2011).

[1]               Gregory Downey, Technology and Communication in American History (American Historical Association, 2011), 36; for more information see Margaret Graham, “The Threshold of the Information Age: Radio, Television, and Motion Pictures Mobilize the Nation,” in A Nation Transformed by Information: How Information has Shaped the United States from Colonial Times to the Present, ed. Alfred D. Chandler Jr. and James W. Cortada (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 137-75

[2]               H.M. Blackwell, Hawthorne Court Apartments, 1922,

[3]           Kathy Newman, Radio Active: Advertising and Consumer Activism, 1935-1947 (University of California Press, 2004), 27.

[4]               Ibid.

[5]               Ibid.

Final Project-Working on the Timeline

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

For my final project on the Information Age I took on the task of adding more images to our timeline. I also kept track of all sources and put them in a basic citation for Abbey and Christine to check and standardize. I was a little surprised at how much time this really took. I sat for hours going through each post looking for any image that would be cohesive with the original post. I also took the opportunity to add a video into the “Youtube Founded” post that I had found early in the semester for our documentary project. I thought it would be helpful to see the evolution of Youtube over its first five years. I used a variety of sources to find these images as well. I believe that I added as many images as I could, as some posts had dates that were too early (BCE dates), and for some posts I just could’t find images that could support the information stated. Overall though, I added a total 89 images to the 240 total posts.

Week 16 – Final Project

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

I chose to write a paper that would expand upon the timeline enrty entitled, “Copyright Acts in USA,” regarding the 1909 Copyright Act. Initially, I chose this topic because because I knew that library would have plenty of sources on American copyright, and so the research would not be all that hard. While finding sources was easy, I realized that the amount of information was more than I had anticipated. The 1909 Act had so many implications that keeping the paper between 2-3 pages was actually fairly difficult. What I found to be most fascinating about the Act was that it was the result of increasingly frequent legal disputes with music composers and publishers against recording manufacturers. When I think about disputes over music copyright, player pianos don’t strike me as the serious offenders. However, it was not hard to imagine that they would be one of the main concerns for the music industry during a time when commercial recording technology was so limited.

And For My FINAL Project. . .

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

For my final attempt to polish the timeline, I linked relevant posts together! By making ten main categories, I brought together interesting/popular topics and tied them together with links below the information and above the source citations.

I started by searching for keywords in the “all posts” field (thanks for the tip Christine), and gathered them all in a word document.  I then went to each of the posts and edited them with the links to other relevant posts.  The entire process took more time than I had anticipated, mostly because I took on the idea without thinking about how deep it could get.  Initially I was looking at adding around 100+ links, but with my final organization, I cut it down to a logical 56.

Of course, I had to throw in the iPhone vs. Android for one of the topics! Here’s the breakdown. . .

Final Project

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

For my final project, I chose to improve the timeline in a technical manner.  My original group was in charge of finding dates that belong in the Print & Predecessors section and some of those dates were in B.C. and the timeline program was not originally written to accept those B.C. dates.  Consequently, our group had to place all of these dates on 100 A.D. for the time being.  Eventually a fix was discovered and for my project, I thought I should work with the division of digital learning and technologies to move all of those dates to there proper place in B.C.  I ran into some complications because at first, it would only move the dates with four digits so dates like 270 B.C. and 15,000 would not show up on the timeline.  I worked with one of the members and we were able to fix the issue with the 3-digit dates, but were not able to fix the dates with five digits.  I was able to move all the those dates, but the four that were five digits are still on 100 A.D. because we were not able to find a fix.  I thought this was a good project because it would help improve the accuracy of the timeline regarding the print and predecessors entries.