History of the Information Age

Thoughts on Assignments & TimelineJS

You know what I really like about this class so far? It’s very creative and fun. Being able to pick and choose what goes on the syllabus is a first for me, so I’m enjoying the freedom and creativity that comes with it. I’m very excited to delve into a variety of topics for this class, especially if the assignments previous iterations of this class have done are any indication of what we will be doing. I personally love the idea of doing some kind of radio broadcast. The 2011 and 2014 classes did this, with one being in the for of an advertisement and the other a new report. Both of those seem like really cool ideas, plus if we could use some sound design to make it sound like it came from a certain era. Another cool assignment I saw the propaganda campaign for an imaginary dictator or regime. I’m done something similar in the past, but it was a small-scale project. I’d love create propaganda which much more background and in-depth research. I think the more absurd the campaign the better, because propaganda can be both humorous, misleading, and informative all at the same time.

Looking at previous assignments is easy, but creating them is a bit harder. I actually have two assignments I think I would enjoy in mind. The first would an animated or voice acted/comic strip of different iterations of media sharing devices. For example, a phonograph/gramophone, LP, cassette, CD, and digital download/music streaming service are all personified and have a discussion. The same could be done for video devices, gaming consoles, or any other generational devices found over time with similar purposes. The second I would like to do would be to use old photographic prints (or something similar) to convey a message. I’m not entirely sure on the specifics, but I’m willing to discuss this with others if they are interested.

A final thing I have to comment on is TimelineJS. I have never used this program before and it seems to be a core component to this class. On the surface it appears to be easy to use. The entire thing operates through Google Sheets and is easy enough to edit. After some trial and error I managed to post it here on my domain. I then tried to add a slide to make sure it worked… only to discover it would not update. According to the Knight Lab website it should automatically update. However, there is an addendum at the bottom of the page that conveniently says TimelineJS doesn’t like to work with WordPress. I know it has worked in the past on WordPress websites, because I’ve seen then, I just can’t seem to get it to work for me. At least I managed to embed it on my website. I think I’ll be contacting the DKC in the future or asking around to see if anyone has any experience with it and why I can’t seem to make it work.

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