Digital Archives

As with anything in this world, there are pros and cons to digitaizing history, and creating digital archives. First the cons. One problem that chapter 6 touched upon that I find frightening, is the ability for polemics to create false historical records digitally. One way they can do this may be to simply use a digital art tool to create a convincing fake. A less straightforward method, but one that is more likely to be used if for a polemic to create a physical copy of a false record and copy it. While I have no doubt that both of these records can be proven as false, if they were snuck into an archive, they could create false leads and help whatever foolish cause the polemic creator was serving. This is where the con that the New Yorker article wanted to discuss comes into play. That is the changing of one archival system to another, and how this change can be problematic. First there are those who are simply used to a different method of archiving, who are both distrustful of thecnology, and who cannot use it effectively. The ones that I am more afraid for are the secod type, who with accept whatever they find online without question, and will not look for a physical copy.

The New Yorker article writes on how the problems with digitalized archives are not permanent ones, and that throughout history databases have evolved, and that digital is simply another step in this evolution. I would agree, and in my opinion most problems with digital archives will soon be fixed with time. After, the greatest pro that chapter 6 brings up will take place, and that is of course the accessibility that will be brought to historic documents when anyone with access to the internet can view them.

The websites I visited were the Famous Law Trials site and the Hull House and Neighborhoods site. The Trials website has little to nothing in common with our project. From the design of the site itself, to the subject matter, it is disimilar in every way. Our site is similar in sport  to the Hull House site. By that I mean that both sites have to deal with a singal place, that has greater influence beyond its borders. Of course our project has more interactive items in it, even without the Games Programing students future additions.

For me a digital archive for the UU Church would be very similar to the physical one in Special Collections, with the relocation  of a few documents that have to to do with billing and financial matters, into their own category. Most other catagories would be created from the different boxes in the collection. Once inside a category one would have a list of tabs to access, and each one would bring them to a different document in the collection.


Team Meetings

The meeting with the two teams went relatively well. It was wonderful to learn first team has been looking forward to this project, and has already began work upon a 3D model of the church. We were made even happier when the second team started to not only show an interest, but come up with ideas. Currently it seems they are interested in making a top-down game where the player character answers trivia of the church’s history. Also a top-down game is a 2D one where you look down at your player character and move them, like the original Pokemon game or original Zelda game.

Much of the discussion changed for each group. Group one had a goal in sight of what they wanted to do with their plugin, so our discussion was more about what we would need to provide them with to reach it. The discussion with group two was more centered on figuring out what they wanted to do. It was originally their idea to create a trivia game after seeing the timeline Haylee made, and we and group one discussed with them the format that they would want to present this plugin. They decided top-down was the best choice.

While group two has most likely chosen the top-down trivia game, group one wishes to create a 3D model of the church that one can explore and be spoken to in.

For group one a visit to the church and meeting with Mark Ward is necessary. They also need the floor plans that we have given them. Group two will need basic history of the church for them to create their trivia questions, which we plan to provide them with.

Digital Identity

Digital identity (that is the self the one creates in their use of the internet and social networking especially) is something that journalists and others have been investigating in the past few years. In the Washington Post article 13, Right Now, That is what it’s like to grow up in the age of likes, lols, and longing. written by Jessica Contrera, the author studies a young girl by the name of Katherine Pommerening to try and see what a child’s life is like in the modern day world. I personally found this article odd and the people it was about even odder. The main girl we read about seems glued to her phone, which has internet capabilities, and only seems to use it for social media, one may even say she has an addiction. She in her family seem to live in a suburban area, and they are rather well off. The article is honestly strange and boring, and adds nothing to my understanding of digital identity. Digital Identities: Six Key Selves of Networking Publics is written by Bonnie Stewart, and unlike tye previous article, it has a purpose. That purpose is to try and categorize the different identities created online. While I can appreciate what they are doing, I cannot claim to understand her completely, and i really only understand the Performative self completely, as it seems to be a way to chreate a character for oneself online.

Research Update

In my group, I will be researching the important members of the UU Church, such as the reverends, SAC leaders, and other individuals of import.

Thankfully there is an entire box dedicated to the reverends of the church, with a folder for each one. After sifting through this box I can say with certainty that a paragraph (or more) about each reverend is doable. I have yet to find any recordings or transcripts of their sermons to add to their page, but I am still hopeful in that regard.

My research into the SAC leaders has been far less successful, which is unfortunate since I wished to use their sub-page to help tie the people of the church page into the UU Church’s former and present social action. But I have yet to go through every box and folder, so it may still be possible to do.

While I have not found much on other major donors to the church, I have found a great deal on Lon Ray Call, and I may be able to devote an entire sub-page to him alone. Also the Special Collections UU Church manuscript page spelled his name wrong, I should tell someone.

Research Update

First allow me to apologize for the lateness of my post.

This week my team and I have decided to change the overall approach we will have to this project. Instead of looking at every aspect of the Asheville Unitarian Universalist Church, such as the building’s construction and the different leaders of the church, we with be looking at the church’s influence on social justice in Asheville and beyond. We still plan to have information on the other aspects (I myself am very interested in the history of the different Reverends of the UU Church)  the majority of the site will look at both the different platforms the Social Activism Council of the UU Church have been concerned with, and how their mission has changed over the years.

Timeline and StoryMap

I have used Timeline JS before, and as I stated in my previous post, I like the ease at which one can learn to use Timeline JS, but it is a tedious and annoying tool to use. The timeline I created for this little project is a simple walk through of the different games in the fan dubbed “Soulsborne” series, it is Soulsborne Timeline.

This was my first time dealing with StoryMap, and while I had problems with it as first, I was able to put together a fairly descent storymap that shows the different settings in the Fallout games, it is The Lands of Fallout. When I first opened this tool, it acted strangely and glitched about, not letting my place my map markers. Also it made every new tab I made the same as the last I was on, but I was able to stop both of these problems by simply refreshing the page. After doing so the tool worked smoothly.

Update on Research

My team and I plan to start researching the collection itself Friday. While we are not certain on what we will focus on exactly, we have an interest in the history of the building itself. Hopefully we will also get to speak with Mark Ward (our contact in the church) this Friday or Monday.

In reference to the tools seen Wednesday, most looked useful, and I know that Timeline JS is. Timeline JS is also an extremely infuriating tool to use in my experience. The great things about Timeline, as well as Juxtapose and StoryMap I would imagine, is that learning it is simplicity itself. everything is conveniently labeled in the spreadsheet, and the preview function helps the creator know exactly what their changes do. Unfortunately like any google spreadsheet, it has a mind of its own and constantly moves the box you are typing in.

I have not had time enough to use the other tools, but they seem interesting to say the least. My team and I have yet to discuss which ones we may be interested in using. Because of their ease to use, it is likely we will use one of the Knightlab tools.