Nov 06 2010

Sharon Boyd

Week 7 Reflection

Filed under Weekly Reflection

How can it be the end of Week 7 already? I find I’m missing the chat when I’m not in here or can’t have my Tweetdeck going – what am I going to be like when it finishes – arrgh!

Last week, I really enjoyed the discussions and the preparation for the ethnographic work, this week, I have sat in awe of the presentations people have produced. That’s what I can’t fully capture in my weekly blog – the inspiration, the creative possibilities, the wonderful tools that people use or tweet/blog about (thanks Sian for that Digital Is link!) and that I really want time to play with – very much the long-term result of taking this course that I wish I could flash forward to evidence. At least this week I was able to use Michael’s Prezi/Tumblr tip to achieve something that I can thank him for now – I’ll just have to take this opportunity to leave my thanks for everyone else’s inspiration here.

My posts this week see me jumping hither and yon to other ethnographies, and making a complete twit of myself in the process by either reply-tweeting to the wrong person, or using the wrong name in an ethno comment. Ah well – the joys of not having an edit button has for sure provided evidence of the dangers of not re-reading my posts in my usual over-cautious manner – speed-posting is not for me :)

It is amazing how our ethnographies mingle, knit together in our EDC community, nevermind the wider communities (sub-groups) we are members of. Now I know who the Terry Pratchett fans are on the course (Noreen and her family), that Dennis and James have similar loves to my own (community fruit maps and bees), and the power of Lego to unit people (thanks Mark!). Linda’s got me hooked on Downton Abbey and Marie’s encouraged me to get a phone that can take pictures – I now know I’m not alone with taking pictures on the sly either.

In planning for next week, I’ve asked my brother to join me as my class visitor. I sent him a movie that James tweeted as an enticement – and now I’ve got Hugh’s Call of Duty ethnography to, I hope, seal the deal!

What a fabulous week :)

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Nov 02 2010

Sharon Boyd

My Ethnography

Filed under Ethnography

I had a really exciting 10 days. My first ethnography had to be shelved, as the group leader didn’t respond in time to let me know if they were happy for me to carry out the ethnography. I then turned to my list of other options and was in the process of deciding where I wanted to go with this when “ping!” as if by magic (and yes, thinking of the Mr Benn quote there James!), Terry Pratchett came to the rescue with an invitation to a group activity that caught my attention. It was an immediate reaction – something that affected me emotionally (yes, I really like Terry Pratchett’s work!) and drew me into the group much more quickly than would normally happen for me, as I’m pretty reserved in open online groups.

No, honestly, I am!

Here is my ethnography, and also my first experience of Prezi myself, and it’d be great to hear all your feedback. I’m looking forward to exploring with you all this week too!

And to finish it all off – Terry Pratchett posted up a thank you on FB on the 3rd November, and I added my return thanks with a link to my Prezi – I’ll keep you posted on any replies! :)

Ethnography Final

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Nov 01 2010

Sharon Boyd

Week 6 Reflection

Filed under Weekly Reflection

This is a little late this week, as BT decided we didn’t need broadband for the weekend.

That said, it has been a wonderful weekend, as we’ve left British Summer Time behind and are back to what I fondly refer to as “proper time”. So excited am I by the hour change, that I’ve even put a link in Tumblr :)

Week 6 was a brilliant week – a chance for me to get more involved in the “real-time” of the course, with my TweetDeck twittering away at me. I felt so much more connected.

I also had time to play with the feeds I wanted to use more – on Monday, this meant listening to some of the music mentioned in papers or on other blogs (thanks Hugh :) ). While waiting to hear from my contact regarding my ethnography, I also did a search on the gardening theme, and pulled up some interesting options on Spotify (including a lot of audio files on gardening practice – superb!).

Unfortunately, no reply from my first contact had me rethinking my ethnography on Thursday and shelving the work I had done so far. Terry Pratchett came to the rescue, and as this week progresses, I’ll share that here with everyone.

Finally – what a joy to have an “inner child” vibe this week – with Mr Benn in James’ blog, and an in-depth Lego (and Eddie Izzard) discussion courtesy of Mark, Jen and I.

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Oct 24 2010

Sharon Boyd

Week 5 Reflection

Filed under Reading, Weekly Reflection

This week, I have been visiting other artefacts, reflecting on the connections between our work, and reading, learning and pondering my ethnography focus. I’m still not certain I’m “there” yet, in so much as I feel I still have a lot to understand about creating an ethnography, though I have made my choice. However, I do believe that, like everything in the course so far, it is the experience that teaches.

I shared a picture this week that my husband took of me in my favourite reading spot on the sofa – and as the tag says, very much lost in a good journal :) and I also share a Barn cartoon, because it made me laugh and had a “technical” theme. It’s as close as I could get to something that brought together my daily life, my sense of humour, my work at the vet school, my love of animals and this course. A big ask perhaps, but Rory came through.

Because I spent so much time looking at artefact’s this week, my tweets, Tumbr post and references echo this – thinking about what it means to be a community, what we “see”, what it means to see (what is perception?) and what technology allows us to see more clearly.

Reflecting on global community, last night, I saw Kodo, a taiko drumming group from Sado Island, Japan. This is part of my weekly reflection as it is as integral a part of my week – if I could have posted it “live” to my lifestream, I would have, as it ties in with everything we have been discussing for me and seemed to bring the week together in one event – it is my weekly reflection in experience.

Their music draws on inspiration from their island home, seeking to “find a harmonious balance between people and the natural world”, from their traditional culture and from their experiences of travelling to and learning from other cultures’ traditional music forms.

They state that “similarities and differences prompt the group to take pause and reflect upon the importance of the varied and rich cultures that color our world. These life lessons permeate the Kodo members’ very skin and become an invisible source of our expression.”

I come home and find I can “visit” their island home through film and images they share on their website, listen to excerpts of their music, watch them on YouTube, follow them on Facebook and MySpace, and become a Friend of Kodo. I am part of the Kodo community without leaving my home.

We both remain rooted in our own cultures, but appreciative of, and learning from, each other, our individual creativity inspired anew – a “one world culture”. Globalisation in a good way, strengthening our individual “tribes” and our appreciation of traditional ways of life, rather than “detraditionalization” – Rheingold’s “knowledge potlatching”? (Bell, 2001)

Good inspiration in my exploration of online community and its actions and affects offline too.

This movie reminded me of Jeremy’s artefact, so I include it here, a balance of nature and technology, with the age-old sound of the shinobue flute.

YouTube Preview Image

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Oct 17 2010

Sharon Boyd

Week 4 Reflection

Filed under Weekly Reflection

This week, I felt as if I had entered an art gallery: walking, looking, thinking and reflecting on everyone’s work. Rose (2007) spoke about the importance of the “site of audiencing”. At the moment, our normal calm work space is being shared with the STV film crew and we have lost our usual peace. I can’t reflect with music or noise in the background, and I couldn’t focus on anyone’s work long enough to make a comment. Instead, I stepped back, took time each evening to visit and think, in calm and peaceful surroundings, and started replying today.

My thoughts led me to take a photo of a needlework project I’m working on. The thought of how our work is connected – to the course, to each other, to our families, friends, histories, interests, cultures – this was the easiest way to “image” that to include the personal craft element that was visible in all the work we shared.

I was determined also not to influence anyone’s interpretation of my image with any additional text – admittedly something I discovered from reading Rose to be highly unusual. I just needed to see what other people saw – and sat back and was amazed by the results.

Again, I collected links to tools I thought looked exciting – promising myself I’d make time to play with them :)

Finally, having played with Issuu and Scribd, I went with the latter and scanned the first part of my journal – good to get this on here to join my offline with my on-

Digital Culture Journal

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Oct 12 2010

Sharon Boyd

Artefact 1

Filed under Artefact

Reflections in the mirror

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Oct 10 2010

Sharon Boyd

Week 3 Reflection

Filed under Weekly Reflection

This was the strangest week – almost exclusively dealing with people face-to-face, in lectures, practicals and meetings. Normally, my professional life is mostly online, and my personal is mostly offline – this week, my personal took the online lead for the first time ever.

Anna Brassey writing of her travels

The motivation this week lay in pushing myself to plug in the computer, flip the switch on the broadband router, jack-in. It’s led to a lop-sided week, with most of the posts crumpled into the weekend and pulled from paper perusings in my journal.

So my thoughts this week reflect that – the consideration of offline and online balance, my own personal Scylla and Charybdis :) I finished reading Neuromancer this week too, and reflected on it in Tumblr (love that image of the Cheshire Cat – and linked The Matrix, Neuromancer and Jasper Fforde’s wonderful Thursday Next books!). It also led me to reflections on the Dreamtime… and to a movie that seemed to connect with my thoughts.

I also shared images of a couple of tarot cards – The Fool kept coming to me over and over from quotes and comments about the dangers of the deep unknown chasms, the unformed chaos and how we bridge these gulfs. The Fool steps blithely off the edge, trusting to fate, to the path, to achieve divine knowledge. I feel as if I’m doing the same, though whether I will achieve divine knowledge, I’m not so sure :)

I do wonder if, unlike the Fool, I think too much – am not able to trust in the journey, but spend too much time looking for the map. If I’m not careful, I’ll miss the experience in the minutiae.

I confess I really enjoy using Tumblr – it’s so easy, and I can share what I want very quickly – I like that. I am not comfortable enough with the blog yet, but Tumblr is straightforward and in its own way is a bridge between Twitter and Wordpress – well done Tumblr!

This coming week, I start scanning my journal. I’ve been looking at Issuu in more detail, and while they’ve recently introduced the option to make revisions, Scribd have been doing it for a lot longer, so I’ll give that a go instead.

I’ve started to get out of my own lifestream and drop in and out of others in the last couple of weeks too, which is brilliant, and I’m enjoying that and finding great inspiration and encouragement there – more to come for sure!

I have a couple of ideas for my artefact, so I’m going to play with them this week and load them as I go.

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Oct 09 2010

Sharon Boyd

The First Step in the Fool’s Journey

Filed under Reading

The quote that really caught my attention in Carpenter (p. 142)

“But be wary, young Padawan, of the spaces between, for the gulf is wide and deep, the landscape strange and inhospitable, and should you find yourself bereft of map or guide, you will surely lose your way”

The Fool on her journey, that’s me :)

Kress (2005) uses mythological monsters to illustrate the fine line we walk between the overly pessimistic and optimistic views of the values of  multimodal forms of communication – similar to the creatures that wait at the bottom of Carpenter’s abyss. But with Scylla and Charybdis, it was a choice between one or the other – or a different route entirely.

I like the idea of a bridge, of movement “across” as Carpenter states – a joining of the two, as per Taylor et al. moving “away from the battles… and… towards a unifying ecology”?

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Oct 06 2010

Sharon Boyd

Online Communities

Filed under Reading

Carpenter’s (2009) article linked nicely with Grimmelman’s (2006) article on the real-life/virtual boundary issues in law. The “complex and dynamic boundary negotiations” between those wishing to keep virtual worlds free of the influence of the various laws of different countries, and simultaneously seeking protection from those self-same laws.

Reading these articles, in conjunction with Hand (2008) and Johnston (2009) brings to question the challenge of online/global community – “interactivity and empowerment” versus “insecurity and surveillance”.

Are online/virtual communities eroding or building society? What is the value of ecitizenship if our actions are all “virtual” – what about our “real” communities?

YouTube Preview Image

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Oct 03 2010

Sharon Boyd

Week 2 Reflection

Filed under Weekly Reflection

This week, I have been reading other blogs, though not as much as I would have liked! The inspiration to be found there is second-to-none, including Jen’s links to encourage me out into the depths of last year’s course. I was hesitant at first, wanting to find my own “voice” before reading others, but I think that, in the second week, it was a well-timed exploration – helping to inspire and confirm that I’m on the right heading.

Posts this week were more of the same: tweets; delicious tags; newspaper articles; Tumblr posts (which I’m finding increasingly useful for short posts/reflections).  However, I was aware that my digital presence was pretty weak – I’m an online shadow rather than “me”. Thursday saw me awake at 4am with the realisation that I need to explore more options.

Having read Sterne the previous week, I investigated how I could incorporate music and have linked Spotify into and added as a feed. Using Spotify allows me to select tracks more easily, playing the whole song rather than an excerpt or feeding the entire random pull of an afternoon on Hugh has a great Audio post this week, and I’m hoping to pull that in with some of Sterne’s examples and get some audio going here!

I’ve also started to include some “eccentricities” e.g. my Tumblr post on Blackthorn – thinking about Jen’s cabinet of curiosities – to try and get a bit more of “me” in here. I’m also conscious that I’m using my usual practice of jotting down scribblings and thoughts into a journal, which defeats the digital purpose somewhat! So I intend to scan and upload the journal to Issuu to add before the final submission of the Lifestream so that nothing is missing.

The challenge for me is not to let this inhibit my scribbles and doodles – it has to be as unrestrained and open as it would be if it were not being shared so I’m writing this now and then pretending I didn’t :)

There is a problem with my blipfoto feed which I’m working on, but in the interim, new images are tweeted so I also have that feed, which is good. I’m trying to think in image, but remembering Sterne’s call to the audio charge too!

What I love about all the separate feeds is that you can get random comments from the wider world. My blipfoto from Friday already has two comments that just make me smile, I love that connection and then being able to visit their journals too. I don’t use this enough!!!

Thinking more about the artefact too and making plans :)

Intentions for this week – start transcribing in my thoughts on the Week 1 readings – Rebecca Johnston (2009) in particular has taken me out into other papers on virtual law (Grimmelmann, 2006), web metaphors (Kent, 2001; Maglio & Matlock, 1998; Porter, 2004) and most excitingly, community networks and activism (Byrne, 2007; Taylor et al., 2001), which have ties into an article on social media today in the Observer. I love it when you’re wandering through journal articles, follow a thread and then see articles in the paper confirming, challenging or continuing the story – fab!

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