Kara Pemberton - Digital Portfolio

We are all writers. Whether we write professionally for publication, or casually for Facebook, everyone in our modern age is a writer. But when we write we accept a responsibility for what we say. When we write it adds permanency to our thoughts and feelings. What does this mean in the digital age? How should we use other people's material in an ethical and responsible way? Do we have things that are worth saying? This serves as a collection of my writing in digital media. Each work represents a different way of creating content for the web, and presents its own challenges for how to research and source your writing in the digital age. It also represents different ways of showing personal narrative in a visual or audio form. Welcome to Catching Krazy, writing in the digital age.

Thoughts on the Portfolio:

If you were to give each submitted project a "grade" right now, what would that grade be and why?

Rhetorical Analysis: A or A-. I was overall pretty happy with this project, but the design of it was not the best it could have been, and there could've been more content to the project itself. Map: A. This was, in my opinion, a stellar project. I put a lot of content and time into it, and I think it's compelling even to those who don't know me or my family. Blog: B or A-. The idea is good and the content is interesting, but there's not enough of it. The design also needs work. Multimodal Project: B. It needs more content and design work, but the idea is interesting Meme: A. It's original and I think somewhat funny. Write@UGA: A. Our team worked well together and created an efficient system of navigation (even if it needs a little more tweaking) Remix: A-. It's an interesting concept but not very original. I don't really have a sense of it though, because I missed the day for feedback.

Have your ideas about each project changed since you submitted it (you might want to revisit your post-writes on these projects to refresh your memory about your thoughts about the projects when you submitted them)? how and why?

My thoughts on most of the mini projects have stayed the same, though for the map project I'd like to go back and flesh it out more with more details from my grandparents' trip as well as my own. Ideally I'd like to make a linked travel blog, to really illustrate the story. I'd like this to be something I can use for my own memory and records as well as a source of entertainment for others. The Multimodal Project has gone through multiple iterations in its creation - from homelessness to motherhood, and from Omeka to Wordpress. It may need to go through yet another iteration, to become more of a forum than a static page of stories. I think it needs to be more compelling in some way, and offering a forum for others to submit to would help with that. Looking back on the idea of the blog, I am concerned I will run out of ideas to talk about. Webcomics as they relate to a digital media is an interesting topic, but in the end there's only so much you can say about it. It's almost be easier to later on change this to a blog that just talks about individual webcomics. I also wanted to make this blog into a webcomic of sorts itself, but because of time restraints I haven't been able to.

What level of revision does each project need (e.g., major/global revision, copyediting/sentence level revision, proofreading/design work)?

The Multimodal needs major/global revision in its design, but for now it mostly needs design work and more content. The blog needs proofreading and sentence level revision on its posts. The Write@UGA project needs more design and testing work. The mini projects don't need any particular revision other than the map project - that could use more proofreading and design work.

How does each project fit into the larger "body" of work you are creating this semester?

The "body" of my work seems to center around two main themes; telling stories and experiences through digital format, and negotiating the intricacies of copyright/citation/accreditation. For my Multimodal and Map Project I used primary sources, namely my grandparents and women I know. I illustrated their stories using the unique affordances available to me through the web. However, in creating these stories with primary sources, I have raised the issue of how to protect privacy, and how to negotiate what all they are okay with being shared with the world. In my blog I use my own writing, but I supplement it with pictures from webcomics illustrating my points. This raises many questions about properly citing and accrediting things on the internet - is sourcing enough?

How has each project influenced projects you have done since and are planning to do?

The mapping project opened my mind to a form of visual story I hadn't seriously considered before. I had already planned to create that story in some way, but the map made it much easier. It also gives me a base to use for when I eventually create a travel blog and map out my experiences in Bali. In the midterm assessment I realized how over-ambitious I am with my projects. This will hopefully help me in toning down what I try and take on for each assignment. All of the mini projects gave me the opportunity to play with different forms of digital media and storytelling that I will use in future writing or projects. The multimodal project drove home how much I need to limit myself when starting a project. It also showed me the potential that audio stories could have in creating a storyworld. My blog made me realize that having a narrow topic helps a lot with writing, but can be very limiting. In the future I plan to make blogs that have more consistently new material I can draw from (even if that's my own experiences). The Write@UGA Project showed me that you can never please everyone. This will affect how I work in group projects in the future, though I will still endeavor as much as I can to follow people's advice and testing.

Does a project need to be "re-situated" in order to play a role in the portfolio? Do you think this project will be one you include in the portfolio? Why or why not?

If I am going with a general "theme" of personal narratives through digital media, then the blog may need to be edited to include more autobiographical comics. But it fits the other main theme of citing, so I would like to include it in the portfolio. It's a subject I'm passionate about, and therefore have more content on - better to showcase my writing. It's also one I'm most satisfied with design-wise at this point. I've put a lot of work and thought into this project, and I would like to showcase it as one of my better works.

Writing for the Web

When I first sit down to start a writing assignment, the first thing I think of is what previous knowledge I have on the subject I need to write about. What my resources are, whether they be academic or memories. I consider what I'm writing for, and design my tone and style of writing around that. However, I don't consider the audience too much beyond that. I hadn't considered specifically what the audience would want to read, because I write the things that I want to write about. But I think the readings made a good point, because almost all writing eventually ends up being for someone else. Whether consciously or not we temper what we put into our writing (such as not using cusswords on Facebook) based on who will be reading it (such as family members). This is worth more consideration, especially when I begin writing in a more public atmosphere for a broader audience (in comparison to Facebook, which is for people I know or have some acquaintance with).