their_inked_stories

Tattoo’s are a beautiful and artistic way to express yourself. Not only are tattoos aesthetically appealing, but they also tell a story, or narrative. Almost every tattoo has a story behind it, whether it be a long and elaborate one or a simple “idk I was drunk” type of story. Either way, they remind the owner of an event or a person. For my final project, I chose to listen to the stories behind why people got inked, and then posted those stories along with the tattoos online for others to see. Personally, I have always had an interest in tattoos, even though I currently do not have any. However, I plan on getting inked in the near future. This interest in tattoos sparked by idea for this project. I will discuss my rational, creative process, technology use, and digital characteristics of my project.

The reason I chose to do this project on tattoos, as stated before, is because I have always had an interest in them. Ever since I was younger, I wanted one. I can remember a friend from high school walked in one day sporting his new ink on his left bicep. Not only was the tattoo impressive, but the reason why he got it was as well. He got the tattoo in honor of his grandfather, who had passed away. When I was thinking of an idea for this project, I thought back to this moment. The stories behind the tattoos are almost better than the tattoo itself. Also, earlier in the semester, I did a project with a few others called ‘UPJSEXFACTORFICTION’, which was a collaborative project because I worked in a group and the participants agreed to participate in the creation of the project. Without them, the project would have never been possible. The interest in tattoos gave me the idea for the project’s content whereas the UPJSEXFACTORFICTION gave me the idea for the organization and format of the project.

In terms of the creative process, it was an easy choice. First, I thought about everyone I know that has a tattoo. This was easy because most of my friends have at least one that they are proud to show off. After that, I asked each participant to email or text me a picture of their tattoo, along with the story of why they got it and where they got it done. This gave me all the content necessary for creating my project. Every single person I asked actually wanted to participate because they were happy with their ink and eager to share their stories.

After I gathered all of my information needed for my project, I then thought about the technology I would use. Since tattoos are visual, Instagram instantly came to mind for my social media platform. I decided that I would post the pictures of people’s tattoos on an Instagram account, kind of like the non-linear mashed-up ‘esdfunnysports’ project that I did earlier in the semester with my group. Instagram made sense because I could post all of the pictures of the tattoos and it would look like a collage of images to the viewer. When gathering my information, I asked the participants where they got their tattoos done. I asked this because on Instagram, you can tag locations to each picture. This gives the project a location-based element, like the War Memorial project I did with my group earlier in the semester. Also, the project has an interactive element, like the google maps essay I did with Dan Yost. To finish off the project, in the bio, there is a hyperlink to a Tumblr page. Here is where you can find each person’s story attached with the same picture that can be seen on Instagram. I chose Tumblr because I could provide more text in order for each person’s story to be told.

Overall, I enjoyed this final project the most. Tattoos interest me, and the stories behind each tattoo vary, but they are all interesting. They all hold a special meaning to the owner. As for me, I hope to get inked in the near future. the phrase that I would like to get is “Angel of God.” This is the title of a prayer that my mom and i would say every night when i was younger. The tattoo will look great, but the story behind it will be even better. Instagram and Tumblr were the best social media outlets to use for this visual project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tip Jar Wars to Twitter Wars

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Ever wonder what it would be like to get into a tip war with a co-worker? Getting a good tip is one of the greatest feelings in the world. A good tip says that you did a great job and provided a great service; the customer is satisfied. Tips can make or break the difference between a good or a bad day. Personally, I have worked at a restaurant before and can vouch for this statement. As a server, tips were the primary source of my income, so getting bad tips told me that I was not doing a good job and that I was going to leave my shift not as rich as I would like to be.

This prompt is a clever one because it introduces some competition and fun in the tip game. Putting two jars with ‘either/or’ statements is a great way to maximize tips in the work place. This can be introduced in many different settings, not just a coffee shop.

In terms of digital media, I came up with a great idea. Using my Twitter profile, I could tweet ‘either/or’ statements like these every day as a poll for people to vote on. Twitter has the poll feature, so my followers can vote on whichever one they prefer. Each vote acts as a tip, as it would if it was a physical jar at a coffee shop. Me and a friend could each come up with a side each day and tally how many tips we each got at the end of each month. For example, my roommate could say Pepsi and I could say Coke. I could tweet this poll and whichever option got the most votes would win. At the end of each month, we can tally the votes and see who would get the most ‘tips’ (votes).

These poll tweets would tell a narrative in the fact that people can almost choose what path they take when voting or tipping. For example, if the poll read “Pepsi or Coke”, people would choose a path as to which one they like more.

War Memorial Location

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When me and my group had to pick a location for our location based narrative project, it was an easy decision. Our first thought was the Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown, PA. We chose the War Memorial because all four of us have unique connections to this historic arena. We used tumblr as a form of collaboration to interconnect all of our ideas and stories onto one digital media platform. This allowed us to post all of our specific stories onto one site for viewers to navigate each of our links to our videos. The responses that we received from our classmates on the google docs were interesting. Most of the responses had to do with the viewers recent past experience with the most recent concert that they attended at the War Memorial. Artists ranging from Etienne to Skillet have performed at the arena. These artists travel and tour the world so to our viewers, their concerts were specific memories that our viewers associated with the War Memorial Arena. Something that we could have incorporated into our project are the stories that the individuals mentioned in our feedback. This would expand our project about the arena beyond our own four person group. This would also add some variety in the experiences that other people associate with the War Memorial.

 

https://thewarmemorial.tumblr.com/

Negative Manifesto

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The negative manifesto can best be described as the detention activity. In many movies and t.v shows, there are scenes of students being punished in detention by writing their negative manifesto’s on the board over and over again. An example would be “I will never be late to class again” over and over again for the duration of the detention.

When I chose this prompt, I did not have this typical negative manifesto scene in mind. Instead, I thought of ways that I could convert this into a digital media project. In terms of digital media, this is a great starting point into the negative manifesto weekly log.

In the future, I could create an app or social media platform in which users can log their negative manifesto’s each day, like in the journal. However, the difference would be, users can write their’s daily for as many days in a row as they want and even re visit old manifesto’s. The advantage of this is that users will be able to see how they have changed over time and with each entry, they can see how their priorities have changed over the previous weeks, months, or years.

Each entry into the users manifesto for each day tells a narrative for that day or in the immediate present. For example, if I spent money on something that I did not need, I could post for that day ” I will not waste money”. If i re visit this post in the future, I will re call the time that I wasted money that day. Each day will be different for each user. All of these posts will tell a story for that person’s day. Another personal example would be “I will not eat bad food”, like I did today before I went to bed.

Desk Radio

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Location, Location, Location. This phrase is often used when describing a popular restaurant or business. Location is the most important part of a successful, or unsuccessful, company. Location plays a huge role when deciding where to live or where to go to school in many cases. What else can location influence?

When talking about location, not many people think mobile apps. In today’s digital world and mobile device driven society, many apps use the location capability. Many apps will ask to use the users current location in order to give them the most useful information. An example would be using your current location to find a restaurant when traveling.

In terms of a narrative, location can also be useful. An example of a location based narrative mobile app is the incredibly popular Pokemon Go application. Pokemon Go uses the players location to assist in catching Pokemon characters in your surrounding area.

The prompt I chose in the journal asked me to sit at my desk and to just listen to my surroundings. When I did this, I noticed something that occurs almost everyday. My roommate plays music from his laptop while we do homework. I never really paid any attention to it until I found this prompt. This procedure got me thinking; What if there was a mobile app for people to download to hear the music I play from my laptop at my desk for background music? People would be able to tap into my ‘desk radio station’ and listen to the music that I am playing. People only in my set mile radius will be able to listen to my music, utilizing the location capability on their phones. Another option for users when they download the app will be the ability for people to create their own desk radio station. Anyone from across the world will be able to do this, either creating their own desk radio station or as a listener. Listeners will only be able to listen to desk radio stations in their area.

So, what is the narrative aspect of this idea? The music we listen to tells a narrative. Different desk radio stations in  listeners area will tell a narrative of the radio stations creator. Creators will listen to their favorite genres of music, thus telling their own narrative through music.

This is also digital media, because it uses a mobile device and a mobile application.

Secrets

thumbnail_IMG_8526Trying to keep a secret is a very hard thing to do, but why? Why can’t we just tell people are deepest darkest secrets? For some people, it may be too embarrassing to tell anyone else. For others, it is to protect someone else’s reputation. Telling our secrets may be more difficult than it sounds, especially in person. However, there is always that one person that we can trust to keep a secret. There is always that one person that no matter how embarrassing the secret, they won’t judge us and they can also keep the secret.

For this blog, I chose the “Who do you trust with your secrets? Why?” prompt in my journal. The person I chose was my brother, Mark. He is the one and only person I would trust to keep any secret that I would tell him. We have always been close in our relationship and in age. We have shared many similar experiences in our lifetime so we can relate to each other.

In terms of digital media, this prompt got me thinking. Even when you think you can trust someone to keep a secret, sometimes they cannot. Telling your secrets to someone in person is a very hard thing to do. However, there are many anonymous social media platforms out there that make it easier for people to confess their deepest, darkest secrets. Many of them do not tell a story, rather they are just a list of mixed up and jumbled confessions. I could potentially create a new social media platform, or use an existing one like twitter, for people to tell their secrets. The difference is, I can rearrange these secrets in a narrative structure. I could take each individual secret that people would post anonymously and put them in order to form a story. This way, people can express their secrets with a secret identity as well as contribute to an on going story.

A Letter to Alien Explorers

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If the world was ending, what would you tell future alien explorers about the world? Specifically, the United States. This is the prompt that myself and my partner Dan decided to write about.

The purpose of this interactive narrative that Dan and I created was to go around to different major cities in the United States, leaving behind a note telling alien explorers about each city. Our vision, or goal, for this narrative was to give the reader some control as to which perspective they would like to see. For example, as the reader, you have the choice of visiting the five cities and reading the letters as the human or as the alien. This gives the narrative an interactive aspect and lets the reader have some control. The narrative is easy enough to follow, regardless of the perspective you choose to follow.

The process for building this interactive narrative was simple. Dan and I used the prompt from our journal to give us a starting point for our project. From there, we created a google maps, pinning each of the five cities that we picked. The cities were New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C and Pittsburgh. After we pinned each city with the human (blue icon) and alien (green icon) pins, we wrote a short explanation of what the city was like before the world ended, from the human side. The alien side was a short explanation of what the explorer noticed about the city.

As said before, this project is a good example of digital media and an interactive narrative. The reader had a certain amount of control when viewing the map. The narrative was engaging and clear.

Dan and I received great feedback on our interactive narrative. Brandon Kieta had the most constructive feedback in my opinion. He said,  “We can explore famous landmarks on our own free will, much like an invading extraterrestrial would want to do. In doing so, we are given total, yet contained, control of the story.” Brandon’s comment speaks to the user friendly aspect and control of the narrative.

A Letter To Alien Explorers, Google Maps

Having A Good Time

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Having fun, it’s the point of life isn’t it? Having fun means something different to just about everyone, although many people share common interests and ideas on what having fun really means. If posed this question, how would you answer? If you really think about it, the last time you truly had fun could have been anywhere from last night to years ago.

When I thought about this question, I immediately though of one thing; Sports. Playing sports is my number one way to have fun. So, when I saw this question, I thought back to this years hockey season at UPJ. The last time I truly had fun was the last practice of our season. Being out there, on the ice, with my teammates, always made me happy and I always had a good time.

This could easily be transformed into a digital narrative. In the past, I have always thought about creating a social media account for the different sports teams that I have been on. On the social media pages, I was always going to post pictures of the team from practices or games and post them on the social media pages. I would follow the season from start to finish, updating the pages every step of the way for people to keep up with the team. I would provide a different perspective than the typical fan because I would have full access to the team since I am a member. I could provide behind the scenes pictures and conversations for the fans to see.

In the future, I may conduct interviews on camera in the locker room between periods and then post them on the social media page that I would create. I can provide followers personal player interviews for them to keep up with all season long. I can also create a mini series, constructing the different interviews that I conduct into a season long story. Each interview can be their own little episode. Each episode can be put together to create a season long story.

At the end of the day, this would be a fun way, in my opinion, to use the different experiences that I went through this year and turn it into a fun, digital narrative for others to experience as well.

Remixes and Mashups

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For this remix project, me and my group decided we wanted to stick with the oh so popular meme. Meme’s are very popular, especially in today’s digital age. My group has a passion for sports and sports writing so we figured, why not mash up and combine funny sports pictures with different, unrelated sports article titles? This proved to be a match made in heaven.

The different text on each picture was taken from ESPN.com and they were the article titles for different stories in a wide range of sports. I approached this project a certain way in order for the text to make sense with the pictures. First, I looked up article titles on ESPN and tried to find non-specific titles in order to mash them with a variety of pictures. After I found the right title, I looked up funny sports pictures to try and match the text with a picture that made sense. For example, the picture of Tom Brady in a tank top, along with the caption, makes the meme comical. The text says that whoever stole his jersey is getting charged with a felony, so the picture compliments the text because Brady is in a tank top, almost looking for his missing jersey. This was my approach for each meme that I created.

This remix project was intended to be comical, showing the lighter side of sports. Sports are a serious business, so when pictures are mashed with text, it creates a different dynamic and gives a different perspective on sports.

Funny Sports Memes

 

 

 

#UPJremixed Memes

Memes, they can range from a somewhat serious topic to something comical or poking fun at a hot button issue. Memes are remixes by nature. Adding text to a picture that may display a certain meaning, changes the meaning of the image all together. Memes provide a different perspective to an otherwise simple image, thus remixing it. Remixes can come in the form of text, images, videos, and audio. Remixing also brings up the issue of stealing content, or producing uncreative material. Memes, for example, can be highly uncreative. You can use someone else’s image as well as someone else’s text to create your own meme. You are essentially stealing two different parts to create your own whole. I did this for the images above. I stole the images as well as the texts to create my own, uncreative memes.

Originality in the digital age is somewhat becoming obsolete. Sure, you could write something and put it online and it is your own original work, but just as quick as you post it, someone else can steal it. Therefore, originality in the digital age can quickly vanish. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however. Memes, for example, can be original or not original at all. If I take a picture of someone on my phone and add text to it, it is my original meme. Someone else can easily take that picture or text and apply it to another picture or text, creating their own meme from my material.

In terms of the memes featured above, I was influenced by my peers’ contributions. I took images from my classmates as well as texts from them and mashed them together to create a meme. Their contributions to the digital world actually contributed to the creation of my memes.

On the flip side, my classmates were also influenced by my contributions. I posted my pictures online and my classmates used them to create their own memes. My images contributed to their final products.

I maintained originality by using images that I captured myself on my cell phone. I did not take the pictures from an online source, I manually snapped them and uploaded them to the digital platforms.

Finally, creativity in a mashup culture can have different meanings. Depending on the situation, memes can be creative. An example of this was stated before, if someone uploads their own picture and adds text to it, the meme is original and creative.