Telling Stories Within the Web
Reading the description for storytelling on the web is daunting to say the least. Manipulating photos or audio is one thing, but actually digging into a web site and manipulating code (or somehow messing with the guts of the site) seems to me to be something altogether different. I agree with the article that says the concept of using websites to tell a story other than the one that was intended “pushes our consideration of ‘story'”. In practice I wonder what the actual value is in being able to alter a web page. I understand that the goal here is to learn the process, get a better understanding of how web pages work (and in this case, if i learn anything at all, it will be new) and mess with code, but I will have to experiment with this to see if I can discover any instances in which I feel this would be the best way to tell a story as opposed to simply another way to do it. I continue to ask this question even after seeing the examples (like the google site that includes ingredients to cook children) – is this a situation in which these are the best ways to tell a story? I think there are certainly arguments to be made that certain stories can be told best through still images, or just audio – I’m not sure there’s a similar argument to be made in this case.
OK – I’ve figured out how to install XRay Goggles – pretty easy so far….. Ok, I finished manipulating the website and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I’m not sure that I learned a ton about how code is used, but it was incredibly simple to change the website. I learned, however, that you have to hover over the lines to get X-Ray to do its thing. Clicking on links before the X-Ray kicks in takes you to a new page and essentially wipes out all the progress you’ve made. Lesson learned.
One more down side – I didn’t alter the whole article – just the part that’s visible when you first bring it up. When I went to try and alter the rest of it, I couldn’t see how to do it without starting all over.
Creating a fictional character
I want to create a character named “Archie, the guy smoking outside when you come into work”. Archie is the kind of guy that typically doesn’t want to be bothered with cultural issues or anything else going on beyond the smoking area, but he’s finding himself increasingly lonely because everyone is quitting smoking and therefore he’s using the internet as a way to reach out, albeit awkwardly, to new people in cyberspace.
Note: I’m still not entirely comfortable with this and always feel as though I am stepping into someone else’s private conversation. I guess i’m not used to the fact that it’s really open to everyone. Not sure if I’m linking these comments correctly. I think they still have to be approved, so I’m not sure if they are on the real site yet.
I enjoyed the Google X-Ray assignment so much, I opted to use it for my first Web Assignment. I tried to link a story to it, as the assignment suggested. It’s WebAssignment 1541 and is worth four stars. ****
I also used Google X-Ray to design my own personal search engine….for the newly-deceased. I experimented with trying to alter the imagery as well as the text. It initially saved an image of heaven in the upper left, but it didn’t come out through the link below. This is WebAssignment 1438 and is worth 2 stars. **
And finally, I used the same program to alter a YouTube page about a cat that appears to be considering bringing his or her owner to a terrible end. At least I would be if they put me in that shirt. (I altered a link in this one as well). Unfortunately the video here does not translate – the link to the tutorial in the Assignment bank is broken. I’m not sure if I did this right or not. This was WebAssignment 730 and was worth four stars. ****
Daily Creates all in one Story
First one – Minimalist Paper Poster – I just wanted to do something relatively easy, but I loved the video included here. I opted for a colored piece of paper with some sugar that, once I pushed it around with my finger for a while, became a sugar flower. (tag: tdc1185)
Umbrella picture tdc1183
The story: The spring is the time of year where the clouds and sun mix in equal measure. The days that hint at sun end with gray, and the heat can break the back of winter at any time. The images here show the transition from day to night to day – the first bright with shiny flowers, then the return of the rain (or threat of rain) with the umbrella.
I loved this unit. I was excited to tell my family and friends about Google X-Ray. I am still not convinced that it is anything more than a novelty, but as a novelty, it is fascinating and holds a lot of possibilities. I also enjoyed having to link the imagery in the daily creates together to tell stories – after all, that’s what we’re trying to do. And I believe that all of these programs have opened up a world of possibilities when it comes to telling stories and I find myself considering new modes of art as I consider my own creativity. I am learning a lot about the possibilities the internet still holds and I’m sure I will learn even more when we move into the video portion of the class.