Digital Storytelling

Week One Reflection

Looking back on this week, I have to say that the process of setting up everything for DS106 has been interesting. One of the first things on the agenda was to create a Domain Of One’s Own, and from there create a WordPress blog. I’m going to be honest, I felt like I had a little bit of an advantage here simply because I already had a Domain. The website that this blog is hosted on is that Domain: lmclark7.com.

The iteration you see before you onscreen has undergone extensive changes over the course of the past year, and especially so in the last week. You may find yourself asking why I’m bringing those up. Well, to be frank, I may have accidentally clicked something in the C-Panel that almost destroyed my website as we know it. You see, even after a year of having this Domain I was never quite happy with how it was set up. Since I will be using it for nearly all my classes this semester, I decided to give it an overhaul.

What a mistake that was.

I can’t even begin to try and explain what happened. All I know is the theme I was looking at required a plugin. I activated the plugin out of curiosity, thinking I could deactivate it at any time if I didn’t like the changes. How wrong I was. Upon activation, this plugin rewrote my entire theme, displaced all of my previous menues and pages, and made my blog just disappear! And the worse part? Deactivating the plugin did nothing. WordPress was even sending me emails about critical failures on my website! This led to me recreating my entire website in a single afternoon. Thankfully nothing got deleted, only misplaced. From there I found another theme that I liked much better, completely uninstalled the one that destroyed my website, and even customized the header by adding an image I had taken a few years back while on a trip to Humpback Rock and Carter Mountain.

All in all, that was probably the most stressful part of this assignment for me. Thankfully, the rest of the accounts that needed setting up, YouTube, Twitter, SoundCloud, and Instagram were things I already had.

Here is the introduction video I posted on YouTube. It’s basically an introduction to all of my websites that will be used for this class. Now, I have used YouTube in the past. I’m not going to say I’m good at it. The most extensive editing project I’ve done was for U.S. History in Film here at UMW. That video is not available to the public on my YouTube account, because it is available exclusively through my Domain. If you’re interested in that, check out my project on Dr. Strangelove. Otherwise, enjoy my short introduction here!

Next up we have my Twitter. I’ve embedded my tweets I posted here, however you can also view them on my Twitter if you prefer that. The Twitter accounted I’ve linked here is my personal Twitter account. I don’t mind anyone taking a look at it, since I hardly post on the thing as it is. I mainly browse for personal enjoyment and will share the occasional gaming video, meme, or video clip. Peak of social media entertainment, I know.

The next thing I dug up and dusted off was my old SoundCloud account. I mean that both figuratively and literally. I remember making a SoundCloud back in high school because a friend of mine was posting some of her work there. Other than that, this is the first time I’ve touched it in well over four years. I honestly had forgotten I had an account! Well, now there’s a brief introduction of myself posted on there! It’s my first post on the account too! Hopefully the audio quality is okay, since I’m probably less skilled in sound engineering than I am at video editing. Plus the only microphone I have access to is built into my headphones. However, I still figured it out! That’s the important thing to me!

Now lastly, we have my photo sharing account. I saved this for last because I’m going to share a highly unpopular opinion about everyone’s favorite photo sharing app, Instagram. I highly dislike Instagram. Do I have an account? Yes. Only because it’s linked to my Facebook, which is another long forgotten social media account I haven’t touched in years. I tried to give Instagram a chance. I really did. However, the final straw for me was the fact that you cannot upload anything while on desktop. As someone who has experience with photography and done photo editing in Adobe Photoshop and Pixlr, not being able to upload images on the platform I’m most comfortable on just irked me. So, I decided to look into the alternative: Flickr.

Out of all the accounts on here, Flickr is the newest one. I have known about Flickr for some time, but nothing had really prompted me to make an account before now. After doing some investigating, I found I really like the setup. You can upload images individually, as an album, and even create a very extensive About page for yourself. However the selling point for me was being able to set Creative Commons Licenses on anything I publish. Now, I’ve mentioned previously that I do photography. Being able to set CC Licenses on anything I publish makes me extremely happy, since I don’t want people stealing my work or redistributing it as their own. So, as part of my introduction I have embedded an album that contains a photography portfolio from 2018, for which I was awarded second place of the Judith Kowler Award for Artistic Excellence. This is the first time any of my work had been available to the public, and I am even considering posting more. For more about myself, my Flickr About Page goes a little more in-depth on my photography experience.

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You can learn a little more about me and the kind of work I will be posting here by checking out my Flickr About Page.

One last thing I’d like to discuss now that all my introductions are out of the way would be the The Joy Of Painting episode that was assigned to each of us. When I saw that Bob Ross was the unofficial mascot for this class, I got more than a little excited. As an only child, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother growing up. There were always several keys show I remember, including The Young and the Restless, Little House on the Prairie, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, The Andy Griffith Show, and The Joy Of Painting. I remember being young and fascinated with the ways Bob Ross could easily turn a blank canvas in a beautiful scene. The episode I watched was titled “The Property Line (Season 25 Episode 13)” and can be found here on YouTube. Now that I’m older, I realize that Bob Ross was not only an excellent painter, but also a kind soul who imparted some very profound pieces of wisdom. This is all without mentioning that he may have been one of the accidental originators of the modern ASMR fixation. However, I won’t delve into that, since it was merely an observation. I particularly liked his advice about painting whatever you feel like since there is no right or wrong, and that “it’s about experimenting, and doing things you haven’t done before.” I particularly like his statements about himself and his creative mindset, especially his story about the psychiatrist who wrote him, “telling [him] I’d really lost it. I had given the tress arms and foots. I wrote him back and said ‘Yeah, but it’s my world and everything in my world is happy. And if I want my trees to have arms and foots then that’s okay.’” This is true about a lot of things, not just painting. Even for many of the projects we will be doing over the course of DS106. Not everyone is proficient in the use of video editing software, not everyone knows how to make a podcast, or how to edit photographs. It’s something you must take and make your own, learning as you go in order to make that project your own.

Moving forward, I hope to have an enjoyable semester now that I know my way around many of these accounts and the different mediums that can be used to tell stories. Hopefully everyone else reading this blog feels the same. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and I hope you are having a great day!

4 Comments

  • Kylie Jackson

    Despite your obstacles, I would say your site looks great! I thought about trying to play around with the theme of my website after I finished this week’s assignments, but after reading what happened to you, I’m glad I didn’t.

    • Lyndsey Clark

      All I can say is that you should definitely back it up before doing so in the C-Panel. I didn’t do that and there isn’t exactly a back button, so I had to redo my entire site. However, I would suggest talking to someone at the Digital Knowledge Center. They can help you navigate and change things on your domain without doing what I did!

  • Paul

    Dr. Strangelove is a lifelong favorite so I will definitely be taking a look at your project. What was the theme and plugin that created the trouble? It could be good for us to know.

    • Lyndsey Clark

      The plugin was one of the recommended ones that WordPress kinda shoves at you when you install a theme. The theme was OceanWP and the plugin was called Ocean Extra. The theme looked nice and I liked the sound of some of the features the plugin added, but all it did was crash my website. Like I mentioned in the post, after I installed it, WordPress started sending me critical failure alerts via email. I’m not sure if the plugin reacted badly to something else I had installed, but even after I uninstalled it I couldn’t fix what it had done to the OceanWP theme. This led me to installing the theme I have now, which is called Ashe. I actually like this one much better, so I’m not too upset about the whole ordeal.

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