Posted in Class Work, Reflections

Reflection 2/21/2017


Before this class, Wikis were something that I never thought about. At all. There was no reason to. Wikis, in my head translated to Wikipedia, a source that I have been warned against since middle school. I had no idea of the actual potential these wikis have.

But now I am seeing the light.I learned so much about wikis in such a short period of time. I now see the potential for collaboration and ease of use of Wikis.

I struggled a bit in the beginning. I felt similar to a child trying to learn how to use a fork, I was clumsy and the whole process was unfamiliar. Formatting the wiki in the wiki code type text that is used was especially challenging for me. As a geographer, I got used to the language that other geographers and GIS analysts use to name things. There is a system and a set of rules. Similarly, with my wikis, once I figured out the rules for formatting the text and once I got some practice using it, the language started to make sense and I could begin writing easier.

One of the most influential parts of this entire week was just being exposed to the world of wikis in general. I noticed the longer I worked on the wikis, that the possibilities of this medium are completely endless. There can be a page for anything and for everything. I was amazed at how extensive the information on a wiki can be. There is never an end to knowledge, people learn new things constantly, and similarly, there is never an end to wikis, a page can always be made to accommodate whatever the user’s needs are.

One of my favorite things about working on wikis this week was the way they look. I know that one of the biggest complaints about Wikis is that they are ugly, but I disagree with that. They are clean. Each page follows the same (ish) format. As I was writing this week I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about how useful wikis might be when taking notes in class.

Over all, I can honestly say that I have learned the most this week so far. blogs were new to me when we started using them, but they were easy compared to wikis. Wikis will definitely be a tool that I start using more often. I am thrilled to have been exposed to this new (for me) concept.




Posted in Class Work, Reflections

Reflection 2/6/2017

This week’s work on self portraits was interesting to say the least. I am not a selfie person. I don’t generally take them, I don’t generally post them. Aside from taking a picture to use on a profile, my experience in photographing myself is limited. That being said I was rather apprehensive about this whole thing.

I posted, first a selfie I had taken last summer. The picture is of me and a goat named Oreo. The picture was originally taken, not to show me, but to show the goat. (She is the cute one after all) I took this picture to send to Oreo’s owners, as they were away on vacation, and I wanted them to know that their animals were being taken care of. The owners of the goat are also two little girls, both in elementary school, so it seemed like an appropriate way to set their minds at ease at the time. I chose this picture as my first self portrait because I thought it was a funny/ cute picture and because I LOVE goats. It represented me in more than one way.

I then set to work on the readings for the week. The first thing that really struck me as I read was the topic of Pseudonyms in Why Social Media is Leading to a New Era of Identity. The name at the top of my blog is a pseudonym in a way. Yes, that is what people call me, but it is not my real name. My name is Brianna, but people call me Bri, I identify with that name and it is what I use to represent myself.

In Rettberg’s article Representation or Presentation I also made a wild connection. Reading the article, Rettberg refers to the picture Kendall Jenner posted (the one with the heart hair and the white dress) and compares it to a bunch of different things trying to determine if the picture is representation or presentation. In doing this analysis, Rettberg makes a connection between the picture of Jenner and of the character Ophelia, from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, a connection that I, too, made upon the photo’s posting. When I read that Rettberg had come to a similar conclusion to my own, I was thrilled. Maybe, just maybe, I understood the assignment better than I had thought.

Finally, I was ready to post my last self portrait. I chose to keep it a photo, I am not good with poetry or anything else that might be a good representation of me. The scenario of the self portrait went like this…

I was sitting on my couch Sunday morning, drinking coffee and doing homework with my roommates. They were a wreck from the night before, as was I and I realized how authentic the moment felt to my life. This was a situation that had played out countless times before and would play out countless times after. I was in my natural habitat so to speak. As I sat on the couch, wishing that my coffee would refill its self, I realized that this is what I really look like. I sit in the same spot every day, I drink the same coffee, I do the homework for the same classes. Nothing could have been more authentic to me in that moment. So, I took a picture. Or rather, I set a camera up on a chair and after great difficulty and many failed attempts at using the timer on my phone, took a picture.

This week, I spent more time thinking about myself than I normally do, which was both uncomfortable and refreshing. It was enlightening to sit down and honestly think about what is a good representation of me as a person. Difficult and uncomfortable, but enlightening.

Posted in Reflections

Reflections and crappy Wifi.

As a small piece of advice, I suggest that one does not wait until the day a reflection is due to post the reflections if you aware that you have shoddy wifi and problems often occur. *eye roll*

This past week I spent a lot of time trying to define blogs and trying to link. Linking I have figured out. For example, I can now link to this blog confidently (it’s Cute Overload and I love it). Defining a blog, however, has been a thorn in my side. I can’t do it, but I am ok with that. Just researching blogs and the different types has been very insightful and useful to me. Prior to starting this class, the only times I ever thought about blogs was when I saw a funny tumblr post or when I saw a coffee drinking, glasses and beanie wearing hipster in a coffee shop and just assumed that they were blogging. Blogs were never a part of my life before but I am seeing so much potential in them. Not being able to define what a blog actually is has, ironically, made me understand them even more. The second I stopped trying to define a blog and I started just looking at different blogs and noticing all of the differences among them, I started to see why people use them and the potential that blogs have.

I am excited to continue learning about blogs and I might try and set up another blog or a personal blog, just because I can and know how to now!

My work for the week

What is a blog? What do Bloggers do? pt 1

What is a Blog? What do Bloggers do? pt2

What makes a blog a blog?


Posted in Class Work, Rants/ Opinions

What makes a blog a blog?

What makes a blog a blog? I have been staring at my computer screen for the last 7 minuets writing and rewriting this post over and over and I still can’t come up with a satisfactory explanation.

A blog is anything. All of the research that I have conducted on blogs for the class work from the past week have led me to one solid conclusion. A blog is a blog because a blog can be anything. There is no limit to what a blog can do/be and I think that that is what makes a blog a blog a blog a blog.

Blogging, as I know it, is only the tip of the iceberg of what blogging is or can be.

Posted in Class Work

What is a Blog? What do Bloggers do? pt2

As I furthered my search on what a blog is and what bloggers do I cam across a post titled What Does a Blogger Do? Top 38 Things. Now when I found the post, I figured it would enevitably end up being about how bloggers make money and about “How you too can make money by blogging from your own home!” but the list of 38 thing actually ended up being a wonderfully appropriate example of my previous thought that cramming what bloggers do into a single definition is nearly impossible.

I continued my search and eventually I ended up typing “why is blogging popular”. I shifted my angle to look more at why people blog in the first place. I actually ended up finding a post by Dragan Palla titled Why is Blogging so Popular? 4 Reasons to Start Your Own Blog . The four reasons listed are all wonderful answer to the question “whats the point” when it comes to blogging and the article really lays out all of the benefits that can be the products of blogging.The other thing that I like about this post is that it describes how anyone can start and maintain a blog.

So much of blogging is still so unknown to me and there is so much that I am taking in every day. In an attempt to understand blogs, I ended up confusing myself even further, and I’m ok with that.


Posted in Class Work

What is a blog? What do Bloggers do? pt1

After reading Rebecca Blood’s Weblogs: A History and Jill Walker Rettberg’s What is a Blog, I have gained an adequate understanding of the history of blogs and what a blog is and does! From my understanding a blogs history goes somewhat like this, Bloggs were originally used to share content, opinions, ideas, thoughts,etc. There were very few blogs until the idea of blogging became more popular, attracting more people and prompting the creating on Pitas, a free tool to help people create their own weblogs. Then started a trend of blogging that I find relatively similar to today. Link based, sharing of thoughts, opinions and essays. As blogging became more popular, however, according to Blood’s review “during 1999 something else happened” In 1999 blog format shifted to something less about sharing personal thoughts and opinions and more about sharing ones day to day life. This new format of blogging was very much like a journal or a diary, following the daily lives of their authors. Today, we see a mixture of both of the styles.

Trying to brief ‘what is a blog’ I find really difficult. A blog is anything. A blog is a way to share….anything, really, online. Rettburg constantly talks about this idea of “what a blog can be” She stresses this rather than stressing what a blog is and I find that to be a wildly appropriate. As I become more familiar with blogging I find that my preconceived notions about blogging were very narrow compared to what the actual world of blogging encompasses. There are so many categories and variations of blogs that I find it impossible to come up with a definition that accurately reflects all of those differences

There is still a lot that I am learning and as I go through this journey I have absolute confidante that I will come to the end of this class and still not have an adequate enough answer to the question “What is a blog”

Posted in My Life

I’ll never be an olympian

Today I watched the National Figure Skating Championships while attempting to skate myself. I normally watch this every year and when the time comes around, I watch Olympic figure skating religiously. One thing is for sure though, for as often as I watch figure skating I am horrible at it. I am that person who knows all the lingo and will criticize a poorly landed quad while my arm is elbow deep in a bag of Doritos, watching comfortably from underneath my blanket on my couch. Any way, tonight the bruises on my knees and thighs lead me to believe that I will never be as good as Karen Chen, I will never have Maia Shibutani’s grace and ease on the ice, and I’ll never be an olympian.

It’s slightly embarrassing, being worse than the five or six year old child on the rink.

I’ll just learn to laugh at myself instead.


Notice: The boys were playing hockey. I was convincing myself that I could skate a straight line without falling over.

Posted in Class Work

2017 Bootcamp

Now that boot is over I am more confidante with this whole blogging thing but I feel as if i am still learning so much. As soon as I figure out one thing there is something else that pops up to give me grief! I am doing my best and slowly getting the hang of things but am, so, not even close to an expert.

One of the things that I feel fairly confidant about is linking. I seem to have it figured out. Below is a list of my required work from the past two weeks.

Hello >  The Struggle >  Twitter >  CC

I am still wobbly on navigating the system but I am getting better. I keep finding myself comparing myself to a toddler. I am shaky and learning but absorbing so much of what I experience. Lately I have taken to the discover page on my reader. I broadens my horizons to other bloggers and pages I would not have otherwise thought about following. It also brings up posts that are completely random and about something completely asinine but are captivating and interesting and completely out of my normal realm of internet literature. This also seems to be a wonderful tool when searching for opinions. It is easy to search a topic and find arguments for both sides.

I am still struggling a little bit with determining what to blog about. When the blog posts are not guided by some standard for the course I find myself sort of at a stand still for what to post about or when to post. I am sure that as this course proceeds that I will become more confidant about what I post but for now, I guess Ill just gripe around in the dark until I find my way.

I don’t ride the struggle bus, I drive it.