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Final Blog Post

We have come to the end of the semester. Who would’ve thought I would actually miss taking a course?

CT-101 will be definitely be marked as one of my favorite courses throughout my college journey. Not because there were no exams (even though that contributed to the course’s likeability), but because I am walking away from this class having learned so much and learning was not a burden.

One of the first things we learned to do was make memes and gifs. I think this was my favorite part of the class as it gave me access to a world that I was trying to get into for so long.

The “Yes, baby” perfectly described my reaction when I made my first meme. It was such a simple task but after trying for so long and FINALLY being successful, gave me such a feeling of accomplishment. For memes, the recommended site to make memes was Imgur but for some reason, I did not quite like this site. I felt like there were not enough empty memes, and so that search time prolonged my time in making a meme. So instead, I found myself using Imgflip quite often.  This site is very easy to navigate and making a meme from this site is easier than counting to 5. I’d definitely recommend it for anyone that wanted to dabble in memes.

Next, came the gifs. If you looked at any of my posts, you would see how much gifs I inserted into my posts. This time, I used the recommended site, Giphy, and it has been my favorite gif making site. This site is also very easy to navigate and I love the plethora of gifs that they have. I think I’ve made more gifs than I should have but that will not stop me from continuing to do so…it’s become too fun to stop now.

One other great opportunity that this class has afforded us was the opportunity to make our own website. Before this class, I had already had an existing website for blog posts (feel free to check it out- https://shanaeharte.wixsite.com/website). And though I love this site dearly, I was excited to create a new website that would focus on a more serious subject.

And from that, came the birth of straighttalkwithkysa. The idea for the website was formed before taking the course but the course helped me bring the idea to life. My ‘Straight Talk with Kysa’ episodes features “talk shows” of me discussing social issues- mainly violence against children.

In a previous blog post, I wrote about all the ways I customized my site. The main thing to see on the site are the 2 episodes of STWK that I have filmed (which can also be found on ThriceAnointed‘s page on Youtube.) Because this course doubles as my honors course, I wanted to do more than expected for the class- so as to meet the requirements for the program.

So, there will be more episodes uploaded on the site, hopefully soon. But, even after the semester ends, I plan to continue recording films and uploading them to the site. The goal is to eventually build a recognizable brand that will raise awareness for violence against children around the world and will hopefully, decrease the levels of violence acts committed against children.

The skills learned throughout this semester will definitely be used as I continue to grow my site. I never want my website to become monotonous- it must always be engaging and inviting. So, even if there is a week where I cannot post a video, a blog post filled with all the learned elements from this course should suffice.

Now to discuss grades…

Not to be cocky, but I think I’ve safely secured an A in this class. I remember being scared to take this class because I was not tech savvy, and I cannot safely say that I am all the way tech savvy now, but I believe I accepted every challenge that was given and executed it well. Hopefully, the professor feels the same way about all my produced work.

Undoubtedly, this has been an amazing course and I am definitely going to miss seeing all of you guys’ posts. I don’t want to say goodbye, so for now…

Copyright

Am I ashamed to say that I had to do extensive research on copyright before confidently making this post? Absolutely not.

Research had to be conducted because where I’m from, Guyana, copyright laws do not exist.

Yes, you read that right! But, while doing research, my country was not listed as one of the countries where copyright laws do not exist. So, this is either a case of the rest of the world is not keeping up to date with small, unpopular countries, which is normal, OR Guyana has copyright laws that no one is aware of.

So, to answer the question, copyright is an exclusive right that is given to the originator of any published work. For others to use this work, permission must be given by the originator of said work. If for some wild reason, you decide to use an original piece of work without permission, the consequences that may follow this are very dreadful.

Yup! And this is all due to copyright laws. The copyright laws of the USA states that we are prohibited from fully copying works but we are allowed to use ideas from a work. One of the examples that come to mind when thinking of this law is Ariana Grande’s music video for “Thank u, Next.”

(I’ll insert the video for those of you that may not have seen it.) If you have seen the video before, you would have seen that she used many elements from popular movies as scenes for her video. Is this okay? Did she have to request permission from the writers and producers of these movies or because she was making the scenes her own, it was fine?

Another popular example in music was a recent incident whereby DJ Luke Nasty sampled the melody line (I believe) from Kirk Franklin’s “Melodies From Heaven.” Now, quite frankly, it took me a long while to hear similarities in the songs, and when I finally heard what everyone else was hearing, I did not think the songs sound a while. Luckily for DJ Luke Nasty, he did not face major consequences, but because of the ‘copyright infringement’ certain music streaming platforms, like Soundcloud, were not permitting him to upload the song.

You guys can judge the situation for yourself. Do you think the songs sound similar?

When watching “Laws that choke creativity,” the most compelling thing said by Larry Lessig was his explanation of using the content of others. Some of the things he said were, “It’s how they understand access to this culture.” and, “It is a literacy for this generation. This is how our kids speak.” And with these statements, I could not agree more.

Now, he was in no way justifying using someone’s work and portraying it as your own, but rather,  he was explaining that using someone’s work as a learning method is a way that increases our understanding of digital technologies and builds relationships with ourselves.

I believe we like to make copies of things we see and like- just look at how many remakes of tik tok videos are posted after one goes viral. We like to put our own spin on things. So I agree with Mr. Lessig. We definitely should not copy anyone’s original work wholesale but there is absolutely no issue with being inspired by an original piece and trying to make it your own.

I also took a look at an article written by Andy Baio. (If you haven’t read it, give it a read!) The article talks about how he was sued for the artwork he did by an American photographer, Jay Maisel. Reading the article drove me to anger as I don’t believe Baio should’ve been sued.

I’m asking for you guys to use your judgment here again and tell me if you think Baio should have been sued. There is no doubt that the images are similar- after all, Baio was intentionally recreating Maisel’s work.

One of the factors that come into play when ‘fair use’ is being considered is whether the material was transformed into something new or copied verbatim. I don’t know if I have somehow created a bias toward Baio while reading his writing but I don’t think this is a verbatim copy- especially since the images are expressed in two different art forms. I feel like I would’ve understood the decision to sue Baio a bit better if he took Maisel’s image and claimed it as his own and used the image for financial gain.

In actuality, the recreated image was being used as a tribute to Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue,” and profits that would have been earned from his fundraiser would have been given to musicians. All of his intentions were pure but yet, he ended up with a fat lawsuit.

Maybe small blame can be placed on Baio for this. Maybe he should have double-checked that he had gotten licensing for everything he wanted to recreate, but I still dislike the fact that he was sued for something that was recreated. (Please let me know if you guys think differently.)

Baio also didn’t believe he should be sued but he went through with the payment anyway- only because it was the cheapest way out of the situation.

All in all, I believe we just need to be very careful that we are not breaking any copyright laws. In Baio’s article, he said that even judges and attorneys had a difficult time defining ‘fair use’ of an original work. So, if you’re going to use someone else’s work, get the necessary licenses and permits before you end up having to pay a fat check. (Unless you have Jeff Bezos money and a lawsuit wouldn’t bother you.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vaporwave

Before reviewing this post, I was aware of the vaporware aesthetic but I was never aware of the assigned name- which is quite cool if you ask me.

In doing research on it, I found out that Vaporwave is “defined partly by its slowed-down, chopped and screwed samples of smooth jazz, elevator, R&B, and lounge music from the 1980s and 1990s.”

These are a few of the vaporwave images posted by the professor and examining them from a journalistic perspective, I think they are quite unique and very artistic. This type of art appears to be both objective and subjective.

For example: look at the first image I copied. Every entity in the image is clear in its individuality- there is a cell phone, a computer, some palm trees, as well as some “museum heads”. We can all understand what those things mean separately (which makes it objective) but what do those things mean once they are put together? What feelings stir up in you when you look at that combination?

For me, the combination of the pictures and the use of colors make me feel as though I’m on a hot island in one of those huge mansions you would see in the movies. ( The ones mostly owned by drug kartels.) I’m not sure why but that’s what I get from looking at the image.

Typical vaporware images actually remind me of the 80’s game ‘Tron.’ I’ve never played the game but I remember seeing the game in the infamous “Wreck-it-Ralph” and I thought the aesthetic of the game was very cool.

Though I was looking at this from a journalistic perspective, I wanted to try making my own vaporware image- but that didn’t quite work out. I guess I need some more practice but I genuinely admire the entire aspect of vaporwave.

Exploring a Classmate’s Website

In exploring my classmate’s site, I stumbled upon that of Saul DeLeon’s. The first thing that caught my eye was the site’s domain name- ‘The Phantom Chronicle.’ It appears as though Saul is trying to create his own form of a news outlet, which is very impressive.

I think the image used for the home screen of the website is impeccable. The aesthetic gives the impression that it is an actual newspaper.

I like the variety of the blog posts on his site. One post is about a trendy movie, and the other is more of a news article, so I appreciate the fact that the site appeals to more than one audience.

Trendy movie blog post.

Article-like blog post.

I don’t want to give away much but I guarantee both posts are worth the read.

The graphics on the site are also very appealing. They are perfectly placed and are inviting without distracting the viewer from the blog posts.

Overall, I love the site and I am looking forward to its growth.

 

 

Mid-Semester Assessment

Whew! I can’t believe we’re already in the middle of the semester. Not sure if this makes sense, but this has been the longest but shortest semester I’ve ever had. The weeks seem to be moving pretty quickly but the amount of work that needs to get completed somehow drags the week out longer. ( This is obviously not the case for this class. CT 101 has been good to me.)

For CT 101, I have had the opportunity to learn to make memes and gifs and that has truly been amazing. Earlier in the semester, I mentioned that meme and gif-making were on my ‘to learn’ lists and I am so grateful for this class because it has taught me how to do so. I have all my memes and gifs stored in a folder- they’re kinda like my kids.

One thing I did not know how to do before this class was how to build customize a website. For one of my journalism courses, I was obligated to make a blog site, and I did, but it did not require as much work as creating the website for this class did. CT 101 afforded me the opportunity to create my own domain name and customize defaults on the site- down to the widgets! Widgets have always been one of those words that pair perfectly with technology in my head; so to be able to manipulate it on my site was quite fun. So, I think building a website is a new strength of mine, but I know I still have a long way to go where building and customizing a website is concerned.

My customized website.

My plan for the website is to talk about controversial topics and topics that are not addressed as much as they should be. I want ‘Straight Talk With Kysa’ to be a highly respectable platform that encourages people to do good in this world. I would love to hear suggestions on how you guys think I should go about accomplishing this. (straighttalkwithkysa.com)

Based on all the things we’ve learned throughout the semester, I still think I can improve in every area. I don’t believe I have mastered any of the skills taught to us but I have been practicing then so hopefully, one day, I can master them. But, I am way better at completing certain technological tasks, due to this class.

One thing this class has done is helped me strengthen my writing and communication skills. From a very young age, I loved writing and so I always jump at the opportunity to write something. Having to constantly make blog posts helped me knit-pick at my writing and I think I have improved so much. And this isn’t just pertinent to this class, but also in my life- as I want to be a journalist. I have even gotten comments based on recent articles published in Pandora’s Box, about how much better my writing is and I can honestly attribute that to CT 101.

Now to talk about my grade:

Just Kidding! 😀

I never like evaluating my performance in a class, even if I think I’m performing well. The main reason for this is that I sometimes think so highly of myself/performance and when I receive a grade, and it’s different from what I expected, I beat myself up about it. So when the college asks us what grade we believe we expect to receive for each course, I always press “C’. And no, I don’t ever think I’m supposed to get a ‘C’, but that way, I don’t disappoint myself. So I don’t know if I want to say what grade I think I have received thus far, but I’m hoping it’s a good one.

Needless to say, I am anxiously waiting to see what grade the professor believes I deserve.

All in all, I have loved every bit of this class and it has become one of my favorite courses from my college career. I cannot wait to see what the remaining weeks have to offer.

Customizing my Website

I thought establishing the website was a fun task, but customizing the website was even more exciting! Dare I say it was oddly satisfying.

I definitely could not customize the site without following along with the professor’s tutorial. With his guidance, I was able to customize my website and I cannot wait to continue doing so.

Here is what I did so far:

After following the tutorial, one of the first things I did was create an icon for the website. (I used a picture of myself.) The next thing I did was change the theme of the website from light to dark. With every device and app I use, I change the theme to ‘dark mode’ because it is more visually appealing to me. So for that reason, I wanted my website to follow suit- and I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I think it looks amazing. Upon completion, I changed the name of the website and tagline from its default names to “Straight Talk with Kysa” and “Everything gets discussed here!”

The next thing I did was change the featured images for each page. With the twenty-seventeen theme, the featured images were ‘cafe-themed’  and that did not seem appropriate for my page. So, for now, I thought it was best for me to use serene images. I signed up for pixabay.com and found images that I thought would be appropriate- for now at least.

Next, I changed the default messages that were left under the ‘home’ and ‘about’ pages. I have not yet customized a message for the ‘homepage section’ and ‘contact’ pages.

After completing this, I customized the footer of the website. I first removed the default address and office hours and I added my social media accounts. I also included a description under the “about this site” section. The final change I made to the footer was removing the ‘Yelp’ and ‘Facebook’ icons due to the fact that I do not have accounts for either platform.

I kept the Twitter, Instagram, and email icons and added hyperlinks. So, if clicked on, the user will be directed to my accounts.

The final thing I did was add a post to the ‘blog’ page. I used one of the videos that I had already recorded- I just really wanted there to be some form of content on the site. Next week, I will post the second episode and I guess I have to start filming more so that I never run out of content.

So these are all my customizations so far. I know there is still so much more to be done but I felt quite accomplished after looking at everything I did.

If you want to see the changes I made to the site personally, you can just head over there. I am looking forward to customizing the site more in the future.

Feedback on what I’ve done so far will be accepted!

Creating my Website

Creating my website was quite easier than I expected. As I stated in my ‘domain name’ blog post, I went with the name straighttalkwithkysa.com.

I used the instructions posted under the blog post made by the professor to ensure that I was doing the right thing.

Although I did not need the class lecture to create the website, I did use it for the steps that followed after. When choosing a theme for the website, I went with ‘twenty seventeen’ because it’s the one that appealed to me the most. I’m not sure if I will stick with this theme as the content is posted but I think it will do for now.

I’m looking forward to our upcoming class so that I can continue building the site and posting content soon!

 

Domain Name Idea

When the professor told us to pick a domain name based on what we were passionate about, I knew exactly what my domain would be called.

Over the summer, I interned with the World Childhood Foundation and met with speakers from UNICEF, Facebook, The New York Times, and other such institutions to battle the topic of violence against children. The Foundation fights all forms of violence against children and is currently working on a sustainable development goal, known commonly as the 16.2 goal, which aims to end all forms of violence against children by the year 2030.

At the end of the internship, all scholars- as they called the interns- were required to come up with a project to bring awareness to any of the topics covered over the summer. So, for my project, I made a talk show host called ‘Straight Talk with Kysa.’ (If you visited my blog page, you would see that I use the name Kysa instead of Shanae whenever doing projects like this.)

I did two episodes and in those episodes, myself, and some parents, spoke on teaching kids about their body parts and how to protect them on the internet; the second episode ended with an original song. (I will try to insert them in this post in case you guys want to take a look.)

I received a lot of positive feedback and was told to continue making episodes but I was not sure what more I could say. So seeing that our websites will feature our passions, I thought that this would be a good time for me to make more episodes and have a website dedicated to it for easier viewership for persons.

So, as you may have guessed, my domain name will be straighttalkwithkysa.com.

Here are those videos to get an idea of what I’ll be publishing on my website. But, I should note that the new videos I make will not be as lengthy. These videos were only lengthy because of the presentation time I was given from the foundation.

 

DS106 Assignment #2

For my second DS106 assignment, I did another gif assignment and had way more fun than I did making the first one. This assignment required me to make 4-6 gifs from my favorite tv show- I did 5.

I chose the show ‘Moesha’ because I am currently binging it on Netflix and it has been quite a fun experience so far. I titled it “The Moods of Moesha,” and you can check it out on my blog by clicking on the hyperlink!

(Here’s a screenshot of the published post on my blog:)

Creating these gifs were a bit more challenging because I had to go through the episodes to go perfectly with the idea that I had. I first started creating gifs using giphy.com, because I have been most comfortable with that site, but eventually, the site just wasn’t creating my gifs. I wasn’t sure if it was my laptop’s fault, my wifi’s fault, or just something going wrong with the site, so I decided to switch to imgur.com.

Once on Imgur, the process went more smoothly. Also, I could not help myself and so I did some writing as well. I hope you guys take a look and enjoy viewing it as much as I enjoyed making it! I’ll leave the link below again!

https://shanaeharte.wixsite.com/website/post/the-moods-of-moesha

“Reaction Gif Assignment”- #DS106

For the first DS106 assignment, I did one of the gif assignments. It was quite fun to do but it also felt quite monotonous from the other posts we have been doing for class. To do the assignment, I just picked a very timely topic and gave my reaction to it. (See screenshot below.)

Feel free to check it out on my blog!

I saw another gif assignment that I believe will be a bit more challenging for me. This one would entail me creating  gifs from my favorite TV show. I have a few options of tv shows to choose from but I think the challenge will present itself when I have to think of exact moments from my favorite show that’s worth sharing and creating a story out of it. Also, I’ll have to do more intense work to create the gif rather than finding clips from giphy.com and adding text. Let’s see how that goes!

 

DS106 Assignment #1

The assignments on the DS106 site opened my eyes to a plethora of ideas I can choose from- which makes me really excited.

The first assignment that I will complete is a gif assignment. Once I saw the options of assignments to consider, I immediately went to the ‘gif assignments.’ I had mentioned in previous posts that I really enjoy gifs and before this class, making them was a struggle. Now that I have the luxury of making gifs so quickly on giphy.com, I do not pass up on the opportunity to make a gif. So for my first DS106 assignment, I will be doing a ‘reaction gif’ assignment. (See screenshot of the image below.)

I particularly enjoy the gif assignments because it allows me to incorporate my writing- which I enjoy doing. For this particular assignment, the instructions only require one reaction gif but I believe I will do more than one because of how fun they are to make. (Once completed, I will link the assignment in this post so the assignment will be easy to find.)

For future assignments I’d like to do, I’m thinking about doing video assignments. I actually found a specific one that caught my eye. (See screenshot of the image below.)

I had mentioned that I have a youtube channel with my sisters but my role is just to be in the videos. I am not a part of the editing process and all the logistics that would come with that. So, I think video assignments would be something I’d like to dabble with and learn more about. This decision isn’t just for youtube but with the career I want- broadcast journalist- there is no doubt that these skills would benefit me.

I’m not sure how many of these assignments I think I’d have to do for it to become second-hand nature to me but I’m willing to do as much as I have to do to become proficient with this.

Are Memes Art?

The question at hand is, “Are Memes Art?” In my opinion, if we stop to think about the process of both memes and traditional art, we see that both forms of artwork require expressive thinking, inspiration, and imagination. Looking at it in this sense, then yes, memes are art.

The great thing about having such a strong opinion about this kind of topic is that many others share the same opinion- so I think my opinion is correct :D. An article published by The News Record also classifies memes as being art and even stated that that classification is not receiving as much recognition as it deserves. (The article was excellent, you all should give it a read!)

Professor Seslow asked if we thought that soon we would find memes in museums or memes being recognized as actual artwork and the answer, for me, is YES! Whenever I go into a museum, I look around and there are many paintings or 3D art pieces that make no sense to me at all and so because of that, it’s always so hard for me to enjoy museum trips. Because memes are so relatable and understandable, it would be so delightful to have a museum dedicated to memes where I, and many others, would be able to immerse myself into art that I can appreciate.

Also, officially recognizing memes as art would be a great way for current meme moguls to make earnings from something they genuinely enjoy creating. Over the years we have seen jobs become more creative- there are people that play video games for their income and even those that post pictures on social media platforms for their income. I think soon enough ‘meme-making’ will become a mainstream career and more people will be able to make money from something from doing something they already do. (According to the online business realm, you can already make money from making memes!)

My favorite thing about memes- and you guys can tell me if this is true for you as well- is that they somehow seem to find you. Not sure what I mean? Okay, look at it this way. Have you ever been thinking about something and then you see a meme that perfectly describes what you’re thinking? Or have you ever been feeling some sort of emotion and then you see a meme that’s basically describing everything you’re currently experiencing? Well, that always happens to me. It’s like the memes are just waiting for me to experience a certain feeling and then they come to find me. I know it’s strange to think about in that way but it’s always reassuring to me that someone else is relating to my current emotion- because someone had to make that meme.

I’ve always been interested in making new memes but never knew how to- yes, I know there are apps that make memes pretty easy to make but those apps seemed so easy…and I like a challenge. So I just wanted to give Professor Seslow a shout-out for presenting us with creative ways to make memes and for giving us the opportunity to tap into our creative sides. I’m really loving this class!

Gif-topia

CT 101 is one of the classes I never anticipated taking. I am a journalism major and there are two CT courses that are offered to journalism majors as electives- CT 101 and CT 240. Everyone gets so excited about CT 240 and so it always fills up so quickly and because of that, I couldn’t get into the class and CT 101 was my next option so I was like, “Well, I might as well try it out.”

I spoke to a friend who had previously taken the class and she only had positive things to say about the class and the professor. After hearing her views, I started to think, “Maybe I’ll like this class.”

On the day of class, I woke up pretty early to mentally prepare myself. Thankfully, the class was quite fun. The professor was amazing and so was the description of the course schedule. I have always been interested in writing blogs as well as the technicalities of all the things that make the blog look great. So at this point, I was channeling my  inner Annie and thinking, “Yes, yes, I think I’m going to like it here!”

It has only been 3 weeks since the class has started but I already love it! I have been exposed to so many new things and it indeed is fun. This course is not like my others in the sense that for this course, there is no focus on testing but rather effective learning for the students- and I love that! I look forward to everything this class has to offer and learning more technical features for blogs. I am happy that I stand corrected to myself and would definitely recommend this course to anyone that may have had the same fears as me. (And yes, CT 101 is awesome!)

 

Internet Happiness

The internet has always made me happy since I was a young girl and there’s a lot on the internet that makes me happy- memes, Instagram reels, Snapchat stories. Though these things bring me extreme joy, nothing on the internet makes me happier than Youtube. Youtube, as we all know, is an online video-sharing platform. 

I guess Youtube makes me happy because there’s so much to be seen on the platform. Through Youtube, I get to rewatch old vines, watch videos about braces- because I have braces and also because they are oddly satisfying- but also, I get to create and share my own videos!

 

Happy GIFs | TenorYes, that’s right! I create my own videos- not alone of course. When the coronavirus began to spread rapidly and we were all forced to stay inside, my sisters and I decided that we should create content for our already existing youtube channel. The idea was that we would create one or two videos just so that the channel wasn’t just filled with content from when we were younger. So one day, we got dressed up and shot our first video- and people loved it! So instead of just stopping with 2 videos, we continued making more and more, and now making videos has become a part of our schedules.

We only have 142 subscribers but it has been extremely fun seeing people comment under our videos and giving them likes or sharing them. And though I am in the videos, I always find myself rewatching them because it is so fascinating seeing myself on youtube. 

From these videos, I have seen my family become so much closer through our film days and then re-watching the videos together. So in a way, that is how the internet makes me happy- by allowing me to be expressive on youtube with the people I love the most. And -shameless plug- you guys should definitely check out our channel!