All posts by ericrettberg

Blog Post Prompt: Uncreative Writing/Flarf

As we discussed in class today, your blog post this week should be either:

(1) A work of uncreative writing or a Flarf poem (of any length of your choosing), with a 50-word artist’s statement. You can disclose as much or as little of your method and sources in the 50-word statement as you’d like.  If you wish, your artist’s statement can be fictional.

OR

(2) A 200-300 word explanation of why you opt out of the assignment.

Some useful HTML tags for WordPress

If you look in the upper-right-hand corner of the WordPress editor, you’ll notice tabs that toggle between a visual/WYSIWYG mode (What you see is what you get, that is) and a text-based display. In the text mode, you can hand-code html tags. WordPress will hide some of the tags from you when it deems them redundant. For example, the <p> and </p> tags, for paragraphs, are only displayed when they include a style modification.

Screenshot 2014-02-24 13.23.05

HTML/XHTML tags have a few simple rules:

  1. Tags are enclosed in angle brackets, and they mark portions of a text. An opening tag (<li>, for example) opens the portion of text, and a close tag (</li>, for example), closes the portion of the text. In XHTML, every tag must be closed. Some tags, like image tags, don’t enclose text. You can close these tags with a slash inside the opening tag (like <img />).
  2. In XHTML, all tags are in lowercase.
  3. Tags can be nested within each other, but you each needs to be closed within its context. That is, you can do something like <em><strong></strong></em>, but not <em><strong></em></strong>.

Some tags that can help you understand/change what you’re seeing in the text editor:

  1. <em> stands for emphasis, and usually makes something italic. That is, <em>example</em> will display as example.
  2. <strong> means bold, so <strong>example</strong> will display as strong.
  3. Links are marked with an “anchor” tag, <a>. The key attribute of an anchor tag is an “href,” or “hypertext reference.” If I want to link to Google, for example, I would use this syntax: <a href=”http://www.google.com”>Google</a>, which would result in a link like this: Google.
  4. To link to images, use an <img> tag.  The key attribute here is “src,” for “source.” When you upload media to WordPress, it’ll figure out the location of your image for you. But one can also link to an external image. For example, if I wanted to show the image on Google’s front page, I might use <img src=”https://www.google.com/images/srpr/logo11w.png” /> to display
  5. Using <br />, you can force a break in the text. Inserting <br /> between “hi” and “bye,” for example, will result in
    hi
    bye
  6. HTML has built-in tags for lists. For an ordered (numbered) list, you use <ol>, and for an unordered (bulleted) list, you use <ul>. Each list item is enclosed in an <li> and </li>. So, for example, <ol><li>apples</li><li>oranges</li><li>bananas</li></ol> displays as
    1. apples
    2. oranges
    3. bananas

    and <ul><li>hamburgers</li><li>crossainwiches</li><li>mcgriddles</li></ul> displays as

    • hamburgers
    • crossainwiches
    • mcgriddles
  7. The <blockquote> tag sets off a blockquote. For example, <blockquote>”I saw your girl last night,” Ratz said, passing Case his second Kirin. <br /> “I don’t have one,” he said, and drank. <br /> “Miss Linda Lee.”</blockquote> displays as:

    “I saw your girl last night,” Ratz said, passing Case his second Kirin.
    “I don’t have one,” he said, and drank.
    “Miss Linda Lee.”

  8. To create a horizontal line that spans the width of your post, use <hr /> (for “horizontal rule”). It will display like this:

  9. For the most part, the display of your content will be controlled by the CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) files for the entire site. In paragraph <p> and span <sp> tags, though, a “style” attribute can include localized CSS to alter the look of a specific paragraph or span of text. For example, <span style=”color: orange; font-size:smaller;”> will result in a span that looks like this.
  10. Headings, from <h1> (the biggest) to <h6> (the smallest) are marked with heading tags. So, <h1>This is a heading</h1> will look like this:

    This is a heading

    and <h6>This is a smaller heading</h6> will look like this:

    This is a smaller heading

Prompt for Blog Post 3

In class on Monday, we discussed your third blog post, which will involve the collaboration of all the members of your group. For this post, I’ve asked your groups to gather at least 5 print versions and 5 electronic/digital versions of your central text and to compare them. You’ll have more to say if you manage to find a diversity of versions—that is, lots of texts have Kindle editions and Nook editions and .mobi and .epub editions, and it’s interesting that there are all those different editions, but you’ll probably have more to say if you compare a Kindle edition to a print edition than if you compare it to a Nook edition.

For each of your versions, you should include some kind of image that represents it. Compare the different versions, paying special attention not just to differences in content but also to differences in the material of the (physical or digital) objects and in the experience a reader undergoes as she encounters the objects.

As your group writes briefly about each version, ask yourselves, for example:
• What makes this version of the text materially different from the others?
• Do the differences between various versions of the text say something about how the text is being marketed, or about its presumptive readership?
• What kinds of differences does it make if I read a text in (say) its Kindle version, or in an illustrated version, or in a version in a web browser, etc.?
• What new types of information/archives of research material does this particular version of the text offer us or hide from us?
• If I wanted to produce a digital surrogate for this version of a print text, which qualities of it (beyond “the text” itself) would it be important to preserve? Or, for the digital versions, what was preserved/abandoned in the transition from print to digital?

The idea here is both to help you think through how the print-to-digital transition can help us think about qualities of print objects we might not have noticed before and to consider the complexities of the world of texts from which your group’s object of study comes. There is no specific length requirement for this collaborative post, but it should be long enough to show that your group has thought with some seriousness about how these different versions offer different experiences, and how the aggregate of them complicates and expands your consideration of these texts.

You should write the post together, but only one member of the group need post it to the blog.

Short Blog Post 2, Group B

Last week, students wrote about Digital Humanities projects. This week, you’ll write about a DH tool.

If you’re able to, install or explore the tool you’ve been assigned to get a sense of what it’s for and how it works. Some tools will be easy/practical to install, while others may simply require research on your part to get a sense of what it does. Once you have a sense, tell the class about the tool, how it works, and whether it is likely to be useful for our digital projects. The questions here are not meant to be a list that you answer systematically, but to spur your thought process as you write about the tool:

  • What is the primary purpose of this tool?
  • How have people used this tool in a digital-humanities context OR how might someone use this tool in a digital-humanities context?
  • What does this tool do that other tools can’t?
  • What is distinctive/notable about this tool’s approach?
  • How would this tool be useful to scholars doing/presenting research?
  • If we wanted to use this tool, how would we get started with it?
  • If this is a tool that many of us are already familiar with, what are some features of the tool we might not know about?
  • Are there any aspects of this tool that might be useful to the project groups in our class as they conceive of, design, and implement their digital projects?

The goal of this report is less to judge or evaluate any given DH tool than to explore how DH scholars are doing and to find aspects of these projects that might inform the approach of groups in our class.

The specific assignments/projects we discussed in class are after the break.

Continue reading Short Blog Post 2, Group B

Short Blog Post 2, Group A

In the next two rounds of blog posts, students will explore and report on a Digital Humanities project or a DH tool. Our first group, group A, will be working with projects.

Spend some time with the project you’ve been assigned/the project you’ve chosen, and ask yourself some questions about it:

  • What is the primary purpose of this project?
  • What does this project hope to do that a print resource (a book/books, a journal article, a reference work, etc.) couldn’t?
  • What is distinctive/notable about this project’s approach to its subject matter?
  • How would this site/project be useful to scholars doing research?
  • Is this project designed such that it might reach a broader audience/readership than scholars doing research?
  • Are there any aspects of this projects approach that might be useful to the project groups in our class as they conceive of, design, and implement a significantly smaller-scale digital project?

Keep in mind that some of these projects made compromises based on the constraints of the time at which they were started. The goal of this report is less to judge or evaluate any given DH project than to explore what DH scholars are doing and to find aspects of these projects that might inform the approach of groups in our class.

The specific assignments/projects we discussed in class are after the break.

Continue reading Short Blog Post 2, Group A