Pheew! The CT101 digital storytelling course has been a fun ride with its own set of peaks and troughs due to other personal engagements. I’ll look back on the weeks and corresponding classes and assignments that culminated into my writing this final blog post with a nostalgic feeling because I would say it was the first time in a long time when I was having fun and learning how to boost my creativity at the same time.
I will try to make this as detailed as possible without boring the reader.
The first weeks introduced me to internet happiness and how interactions in a virtual world can have positive real life effects. Especially when the events in the real world are all doom and gloom.
I learned that in the right space on the internet, we can find wholesome contents which can improve or lighten our moods.
Knowing about internet happiness significantly boosted my expectations for this course. It made me realize that digital storytelling, despite having been around for a while, is a niche that is evolving, that can be tapped into by virtually anyone and that can have a very huge, productive impact on a worldwide scale. Safe to say that I was hooked.
The fun continued with memes and gifs.
Prior to taking this course I had come across various memes and gifs on social media and besides laughing at the very funny ones I never really understood the artistic potential it possessed. This, I learned by reflecting on the question “Are memes art?”
I learned the distinguishing factor between memes and gifs i.e memes are still images sometimes accompanied by captions which further enhances it as a tool for storytelling. Gifs are like memes in terms of expressing a particular feeling. However, it involves moving images like short videos. It can be used to express happiness, excitement, disappointment et cetera.
In the course of learning about gifs and memes, I learned how to find the precise meme or gif that best suited the thought or feeling I wanted to portray using various online sources, notably Make a Meme, Giphy and Imgur.
Going further, we were introduced to DS106 Assignments, a repository from where we chose two different assignments to replicate. I went for “Pop Star Out of Place.” I used Photopea to accomplish this. Photopea is like an online photoshop that allows image manipulations. My second DS10 project was to choose an unregistered company and brand their logo. I also achieved this using Photopea and Publisher.
The skill acquired here would come in handy in various aspects of digital storytelling because with it I can easily apply various images to tell any story I want to in a way that best shows my perspective.
The story of Aaron Swartz, The Internet’s Own Boy was very introspective and I frankly learned a lot from it. It delved into his strength of will and resilience to make the internet as democratic as possible. It also talked about the unending legal troubles he’s had to face in this quest.
By the midterm of the course we had already been taught how to setup a website using WordPress. The process was pretty straightforward.
First was to find a domain name that best reflected what your website was all about; it had to be something users could recall easily and it had to have very little or no resemblance to existing brands.
The next step after this was to register the domain name with a hosting company, for mine I used Reclaim Hosting. Then I went on to the WordPress dashboard to customize my website’s look on the front-end.
With the website all setup, we were taught how to add some more functionalities to it by using plugins.
I learned how to secure the contents of my website by simply installing and activating the “Really Simple SSL” plugin which changes the protocol from http to https.
I also learned how to display contents of my social media channels on my website.
For the next class we were asked to share and also look at our classmates’ websites. I looked at a handful but the two websites I talked about were macdeesauze.com and raaiwlou.com. You can find the detailed post about those two websites here.
The Vapor Wave aesthetic was the next stop in what’s been a fun road trip. We were introduced to Vapor Wave an art form that started in the early 2010’. Vapor Wave as a visual art style is an integration of several art forms which include; glitch art, anime, 3d renders of images, pixelated images and significant attributes of retro artworks.
The Vapor Wave is a daring art form which is basically what I liked about it but I was not impressed by the fact that it did not have a clearly defined method of art creation.
Our final class was focused on copyrights with specific reference to contents being created, shared, modified and re-shared on the internet. I learned about fair use policy and how it could be useful to protect both the interests of the original content creators and also the individuals who want to make use of their creations.
In addition, Larry Lessig’s TED talk video was very informative. He gave a detailed presentation on the impact of the internet, how laws affect content creation and sharing and how the younger generations can adapt to a world that is changing at an unpredictable pace.
Below is a link to Larry Lessig’s TED talk video
I frankly think I have fulfilled all the requirements of CT101 course and can proudly say that I am way better at digital storytelling today than I was at the commencement of this course. Taking into consideration the effort and commitment I exerted for the duration of the CT101: Digital Storytelling course, I think I deserve an A+ grade.
What I enjoyed about this class was ease of communication between the professor and his students. It created an enabling environment for learning with as little stress as possible.
I do think I will maintain the website I created. And I intend to do that by posting ad related content on it momentarily and also by updating my WordPress when necessary.
My new website is https://www.selladsonline.com.
The website is primarily used to enlighten readers about the importance of ads to businesses in a competitive world where it’s more necessary than ever to stand out to your prospective clients. The website structure is not hard to grasp, there’s the homepage, about page, blog and contact page.
Building the website was fun. The little challenge, if I would call it that was when I had to customize the structure.
Having a website is a very lovely feeling because I feel I can disseminate information about topics I’m passionate about to a wider audience. I can now digitally tell a story.
Finally, I would like to appreciate the efforts of all my classmates for the duration of this course.
And also, the professor, Ryan Seslow for his awesomeness.
It’s not been an easy year for well documented reasons but we did it.