Ryerson Webseries: Social Media

Unable to make the meeting, I watched the updates through email as to what needed to be done. The emphasis was social media: youtube, Facebook, and twitter. Looking at all of them, we haven’t quite set them up yet. I went onto rdigitalife’s youtube (which hasn’t been touched) and made sure to change the layout, format, logo, and created a playlist for our first topic. Taking advantage of the feature tab that youtube has. Trying to link it to other social media was difficult, since Facebook kept syncing to my own Facebook.

Since Facebook changed to timeline at the end of March, we still were missing a cover image. I was in class with Nadja and discussed creating a cover image that was related. We upload a shot from one of the interviews with Tom Rand. I installed involver.com to put youtube onto our page and suggested that we create a poll on the page. We made sure to take advantage of the about tab on the page, so that people could easily click to rdigitalife website.

Then made sure to add our profile picture onto google+, also had to add some information.

Ryerson Webseries: The “New” Way of Learning

Ramona assigned readings to us and I picked A New Culture of Learning by Doug Thomas & John Seely Brown. It’s a slow read and is written very academically. Sadly, it didn’t present any new ideas to me, I had difficulty getting through the reading. It talked about how children can learn through forum communities and remixing, sharing. It says that a lot of the knowledge that is useful can be learned through Google.

Really not surprising. It’s definitely a generational thing. I grew up with the Internet and because of Neopets back in 2002 (and my sister), I started web and graphic design. At 11, I had started to learn HTML from the Internet (from Lissa Explains It All).

The Internet allows you to learn at your own pace, and you can learn the way that suits you best. Who really learns a lot by being forced to sit in a classroom and just listening? I’m more of a kinetic learner, I learn from doing. HTML, CSS is another language that I can read and write. It’s an important skill and has allowed me to have work.

It’s just interesting how fast things change. My old portfolio back in 2008, was made completely in Flash, which was the thing to do. Now, it’s no Flash at all, do HTML5 & CSS3. In technology, 4 years is a very very long time. We have to stay up to date with changes in the Industry standard. Things that go into books and print are already too old.

Ryerson Webseries: Bionik Labs Transcript

Having gone to Hong Kong for the break, I left with an interview to transcribe and a book to read. Having recently removed my wisdom tooth (as in 2 days ago), I sat on my couch and started transcribing. It takes me so much longer when the person has an accent, even though Thiago’s wasn’t a thick accent it still took me a little longer. It’s possible that painkillers and the antibiotics I was taking (post-removal) wasn’t helping. Thiago and Michał started their own company last year after having developed a mechanical prosthetic arm that used compressed air to create movement and EEG (reading brainwaves) to control the arm. I heard about their project last year and was really impressed with what a 2nd and 3rd year biomedical engineers could do, having met Michał in first year.

Thiago talked about the responses that the prosthetic arm got from different communities and Ramona asked about merging man with machine, bringing up Ray Kruzweil. She asked him to express his opinion on technology destroying evolution and if he would ‘augment’. Ethics came up in the interview and Thiago wouldn’t mind getting artificial organs to replace damaged ones, but wouldn’t considered cutting of his arm just for a robotic one.

Ryerson Webseries: Mark Siddall Transcribing

After researching on Mark Siddall, Ramona returned to us the task of transcribing the interview. Mark Siddall is the curator of the Picturing Science currently on at the American Natural History Museum. The interview was extremely interesting, but required me to look up spelling for certain scientific things. Luckily for me, I have some science background, so it wasn’t as difficult as it could have been (yay! positivity!).

Using ExpressScribe made it easier, but it was still very time-consuming and required a lot of concentration. Breaks were required and there was a deadline that I had to meet.

He talked about how scientist have been using imaging devices for few decades now and their images haven’t been considered art even though the process maybe the same. The idea behind his Picturing Science, is to make the viewer see science differently, more as an art. The concept that beauty comes from nature and that science can capture this beauty. He also discussed interdisciplinary and how important it is for innovation and progress.

Ryerson Webseries: Re: Tom Rand

An email earlier this week informed me of a direct to webcam video response that we had to make. Karen & I were assigned to respond to Tom Rand’s interview, specifically his point about us having a false sense of control.

I think I went on a bit of a rant, did only one take, since it’s more natural and I still needed to do other work. I talked about how fossil fuels are embedded into our system, made a few references to modern wars and such. Hopefully, it’s alright.

We also have to sign up for a book. I’ll be less busy after this week and will be able to have time to deal with the readings & books.

Ryerson Webseries: Trying To Stay Afloat

The last few weeks have been so busy and the next few weeks doesn’t show any sign of being any better. I haven’t been able to go to the streeters or meetings because I have full day classes from Tuesday – Thursday. It might have been a bad idea to take 6 courses, work, and do an internship this semester. I’m barely finding time to deal with all the work and myself. It also doesn’t help that I got the flu this weekend either. I’m pretty much useless once I’m sick.

I guess it’ll be better after next week, the calm before the storm as I heard someone say. At least I might have some time to try and get back on top of things.

Ryerson Webseries: “Story” Pitching

The meeting yesterday was a smaller meeting than normal. Monday meets seem harder and harder to get the entire group to meet up. I had to get to work at 12, but Ramona had a meeting, so she got there at 11.

A quick discussion about our stories for each topic came up, so I’ll be looking into meetups, identity, and sharing economies (like Bixi). We were also told to go and film some streeters asking them questions and their opinions because we want the average person to have a voice too, not just academics and venture capitalist. We want people sourcing.

They’re working on the mash-up intro, which we helped by looking for archival, creative commons, public domain footage that would work with our topics. I’m excited to see it, when it’s done.

Ramona also showed us logos that was made by Ryerson graphics, which were in a weird font with some strange colour choices. The concept was good, but the font! Hopefully that will get fixed up, so we can get that done and ready.

Ryerson Webseries: Mark Siddall

I did research on Mark E. Siddall for Ramona & Jefferson’s trip to NYC. They’re going on the weekend of the Singularity to interview at the event and at the American Museum of Natural History. He is a curator and professor that graduated from the University of Toronto, specializing in invertebrate zoology. The current exhibit that he curated is Picturing Science: Museum Scientists and Imaging Technologies (June 25, 2011 – June 24, 2012). An exhibition of more than 20 sets of large-format images, images from scientific studies taking place in the museum whether it be of parasites, people, or planet. Images from infrared photography, scanning electron microscopes, and CT scanners.

His research focus are leeches and he’s interested in the evolution and the compound in their DNA that stops blood from clotting. I was reading up articles about him recognizing that a leech brought in from Peru was a new species, Tyrannobella rex (or T. Rex), “tyrant leech king”, a bloodsucking leech with large teeth. It sounds like a scary leech that was noticed because it was on some poor girl. Also the summer of 2011, he also went on an expedition to Rwanda searching for leeches, collected 5 distinct species of leeches.

Ryerson Webseries: Format Ideas

A lecture from Slavica had us all inspired by interactive documentaries. Many of us thinking that it would be an amazing way to show this webseries to a new audience. In our heads we had a large web for the series that is made up of little webs for each episode. The center of the web being the finished cut of an episode and all the branches of the web being additional footage of interviews or other related links and such. It allows the user to explore more in topics and interview that they are interested in. It’s all about the new viewers (aka me) that have relatively short attention spans and are only interested in their own interests. A group of us proposed the idea to Ramona before the group meeting.

I talked to Ramona about the topics that I’m research and I have to be able to come up with some interesting stories. I’m trying to think of things, but a lot of the information that I come up with seems weird, old, or has been done. (I don’t plan to state the topics, since I’m unsure how much I can share about this project).

We do have a topic on remix and it would be so amazing to interview JGL from hitrecord.org! I wish I was more involved in that community, but it always falls onto the back burner because school is priority.

Ryerson Webseries: “First” Meeting

9 a.m. Monday morning, we were sitting in the staff lounge next to Ramona’s office. I was sipping on my morning coffee as I looked around at the narrow space with high ceilings. Music is subtly filling the room from Jefferson’s laptop. All the interns filled up the couches that formed a (sort of) semi-circle.

Ramona walks in, breaking the silence and everyone’s attention turns to her. The meeting begins and we talk about the project’s name, what needs to be done, and their trip to New York City to interview people at The Singularity and the curator at the Natural Museum.

Then the fire alarm begins to ring.

We walked out and sat in the Pitman quad. The meeting continues and they started assigning tasks. I’m helping with the NYC research (I would really love to go) and research on the topic of community & currency.  On Friday, I volunteered to transcribe the TIFF interviews, but was unable to get the footage because my laptop doesn’t have a firewire port. I brought a 16gb SD card that I had recently bought for filming with. I followed Ramona to her office after the meeting had ended to get the TIFF footage.

When I got home after work, I began to transcribe the first interview, which was with Gerard Hauk. I have a free program, Express Scribe, that helps with transcribing by giving the transcriber global hotkeys, which allows you to rewind, pause, play, and control playback speed without having to leave the word processor.

I first used this program back in 2008 to transcribe an interview with my grandmother about WWII for a history project. It was so useful that I wanted to see if they’d updated the program and supported video yet, which they did. Unfortunately, the audio when playing back on video was really bad, so it was extremely difficult to hear it, as I could hear the background noise (of the catering team) more than the speaker. I extracted the audio and put the audio into Express Scribe. It was so much better to listen to.

In a few hours, I had transcribed two 6-minute interviews. It took me awhile to get into the swing of transcribing, so the first interview took longer than transcribing the second interview. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish transcribing those interviews soon.

 

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