torstai 10. toukokuuta 2012

Thoughts on the course in Digital Culture in Humanities

Hello again! This one's the final - sorry if I lied the last time, telling you it would've been the last update ever...but then again, this won't be a long summary of topics debated on during lectures or such, but rather general, final thoughts about this particular course. I'll try to remain polite and on topic.

In short, this course has been quite confusing, in good and bad. I had no idea what to expect when I first picked it, so in that manner I did not have much expectations beforehand. I have to say I've been quite stunned by the masses of work - writing a blog entry of each and every lecture publicly online has been stressful for someone like me, who hasn't ever had a blog or even considered starting to write one. Writing about topics I often have understood nothing about have unfortunately been quite uninspiring, if not compelling. It has been an interesting experience, nonetheless, although I might safely state that I'm probably going to delete this blog at some point - but not before saving some of the links very useful for further studies within humanities. Some of them I've decided to check further upon, maybe in summer, when I have more time to laze around and explore interesting web pages.

One thing that has been useful, has been the introduction of several web pages, specialised search engines and services and programs especially directed towards scholars, researchers and students within humanities. Considering that I'm probably stuck here studying for at least four years ahead, I'm very happy to have been let in on small bits of the treasury the internet can be for interested and enthusiastic students. I'm very certain I'll be using some of the web pages, services and software presented on this course. As the course has not maybe been vastly informative upon the topic of Digital Culture on the whole, it has given clear guidelines and practical, concrete tip-offs and hint, pointing one towards the right direction in working online. Some of the information introduced on the lectures has passed me without further notice or comprehension, but I find it comforting that at least what seems to be the most essential things, those with concrete samples, have stuck onto my mind.

The course has managed to answer some of my questions but also raised quite a few new ones, which I now have guidelines and ideas how to follow in order to find answers and complete them thus. Maybe a bit more structuring and focusing on things interesting for historians instead of difficult computer and internet terminology, and the course might find more interested participants.

Nonetheless, thank you, Jessica for your patience and tutelage this Spring. Have a nice summer, everyone!

 And because it's my last entry, I'll reward you all with a picture depicting my expression while walking away into summer after a tough, but eventful semester, towards a nice, rewarding trip to Japan! So long, suckers!

xoxo, Gyaru Supreme a.k.a. Myrre :)

Final class update...ever...on this blog

Hello boys and girls! This will hopefully be the final "actual" update I'll make for this particular blog (not that I have any other blog under consideration...) and for the course in Digital culture.

I was astonished to discover that we were only five people present for class,  as I had gone through tremendous efforts to appear for said, last class of the course. Nonetheless, it was a quite interesting last peak into the world of digital culture. The topic that popped up this time was googling and many interesting aspects connected to it. A part of it evolved around the internet image of oneself, how to act online and how to be perceived - this especially considering the material that might pop up if someone googles your name. I wanted to argue that not all things appearing while googling a person is written by one's own account. Crawling was another topic we discussed; how long it takes for a results to appear when you type in something in search. In the beginning it was slow and it could take weeks before the newest updates to appear - something that only takes a few seconds nowadays.

We also learned about all the academically prestigious and practical sites, at which you could create your own CV, publish your papers and works and follow other scholars and researchers. Sites such as this were, which seemed very useful indeed. Another, more academic and "professional" version of facebook known as Linkedin  - offering opportunities to exchange information, ideas and such for over 150 million professionals. At the moment it did not feel too relevant for me, in my current life situation, but I'm sure this will come quite handy later on in my studies. Pages such as Tuhat -service offered people active at Helsinki university a space for publishing bigger projects and works, in order to reach a bigger sphere of interest. The most important part in working on your own webpage or one designed for a certain purpose or theme (say e.g. a Museum), is the skill and talent to summarise the most important parts of the topic. Seriously, no one's going to want to read a lot of (especially if its boring) text page after page before coming to the actual point and purpose of the text, so better start practising now!

The lecturer did, however, also emphasise on the importance of Twitter as a source for useful, academic and internationally important informations, as the press with several actively tweeting journalists have taken over a big part of Twitter. I've never been exceptionally interested in following someone's Twitter or creating myself an account, but it was nice to know it's not all about useless, trivial daily updates of flimsy reason. A strong emphasis was also put on the access of information, and how much quicker new information reaches readers through Twitter than newspapers or other social media. Facebook, you have a challenger... Older and potentially important tweets could also apparently be archived onto Storify, which is useful for later references or just good jokes and useful and interesting pieces of information.

Despite being so few present, I think we managed to have a very nice lecture, with a nice and intimate atmosphere and time for more questions and interaction between students and lecturer. Still I'm brave enough to confess I don't feel bad about the course ending. It's been an experience, nonetheless.


Oh, and I apologise for the potentially very crappy English and general disinterest, but I'm onto my second week with this f*cking cold (just go away, will you >___<?!) and I'm under a lot of stress for my upcoming trip to Japan. My bad...