Final blog post

December 15th, 2011

Going in to this final project I was excited to be working on a documentary that was more personal and locally based then on the digitization of the library catalog. I was also slightly apprehensive because DS106 was something that never heard of until Joe had contacted me about doing a documentary for  the final project of History of the Information Age. For this project I worked primarily on the rough cuts and basic editing for the project. This worked for me from the standpoint of becoming a lot more confident in using Adobe Premiere. I also really liked being able to see all the footage that we managed to collect from 8 different interviews.  There was a lot of effort then went into the interviews and I was ever able to work another project like this again I would defiantly be interested in participating in the interviewing aspects of the documentary. Picking out the music for  the DS106 documentary was interesting because I originally had searched for something similar to the music used in the Library Catalog Digitization project. However we as a group ended up deciding to go with music that had more of a grunge feel to it, as that fit better with the topic of the documentary. Part of the footage that we ended up editing out that  I wish he had put into the documentary was  to role of digital identity in DS106. I thought it was interesting that Jim Groom discussed digital identity as something that he wanted students of DS106 to come out of class caring about. Charlie talked about his owned experiences with digital identity which was ultimately probably too personal for the documentary. Out of the footage that did not make it into the documentary the stuff on digital identity was probably the most interesting to me, especially given out discussions of it in class.

Digital Storytelling 106 Documentary

December 15th, 2011

Digital Storytelling 106 is a Computer Science class that was created and is headquartered at the University of Mary Washington. Prior to 2010, the class was taught by University adjunct Professor Alan Dean. Dean’s approach to the class was focused primarily on the art of storytelling, and secondly on the technology used to convey those
stories. In 2010, Jim Groom, an Instructional Technologist in the Department of Teaching and Learning Technologies, was asked to take over additional sections of the class. Groom’s conceptualization of DS106 was that of a creative, collaborative online community. Because the class already relied heavily on Web technologies, Groom opened his section of the course up to the broader online community. In Groom’s massive open online course, individuals on the Internet are able to recommend and complete various assignments and contribute to the class without being enrolled at the University of Mary Washington.  This entirely novel conceptualization of what constitutes a “class” has taken DS106 in fascinating and unique directions, including DS Radio and a short-lived DS Television Station, as well as a freewheeling summer murder mystery known as the “Summer of Oblivion.” In this documentary, Jim Groom and Alan Dean, as well as a variety of former students and interested faculty, discuss the history, implications, and future of DS106.


Burtis, Martha. Interviewed by Caitlin Murphy and Nicole Steck, December 10 , 2011, DuPont Hall, Fredericksburg, Va.

Dean, Alan. Interviewed by Joe Calpin, December 14, 2011, Dean residence, Prince George, Va.

Ellis, Leigh Ann. Interviewed by Joe Calpin, December 13, 2011, Ellis residence, Fredericksburg, Va.

Girard, Charlie. Interviewed by Caitlin Murphy, November 28, 2011, Monroe Hall, Fredericksburg, Va.

Groom, Jim. Interviewed by Nicole Steck and Caitlin Murphy, December 10, 2011 , Groom residence, Fredericksburg, Va.

Owens, Tim. Interviewed by Joe Calpin, December 14, 2011, DuPont Hall, Fredericksburg, Va.

Whalen, Zach. Interviewed by Caitlin Murphy, December 13, 2011, Combs Hall, Fredericksburg, Va.

Woodward, Tom. Interviewed by Joe Calpin, December 3, 2011, Henrico County School, Henrico, Va.

Image Sources:

A shifting view on the Information Age

December 1st, 2011

Over the course of this semester, we have been trying to define one question. What exactly is the information age? At the beginning of the semester my view was that the information was a period in history that began in the 19th century and is still going on today that is defined as a rapid increase in information specifically in the way people communicate. Over the course of the semester I have come to realize my view of the information is too simplistic. One of the areas that I was too simplistic in my views was in the date range. By just looking at the timeline that we have made for the class, one can see that the information cannot really be pinned down to a date range, as it has been going on for a very long time. However, the rapid progression of technology in the 19th century is still important, but as a starting point for the digital age. Another where I feel I was off in view of the information age was by placing emphasis on communication and not considering other aspects such as how information is processed and how one interacts with information. The readings for class this week, A History of the Internet and The Digital Future, emphasized the importance of how one interacts with technology, and how that effects the information age. The internet allows person interaction in terms of individuals being given a much wider range of news sources, not previously available. At the same time there are all draw backs to this interaction. For local businesses with nitch markets, and who use the internet in a very limited fashion the internet can be an obstacle. To wrap things up, my view of the information age has changed. I now define the information age as a the way look at communication and interactions between people throughout history and how technology has effected this communication.



Week 13: How do we define fair use?

November 26th, 2011

In class on Tuesday, one of the things we discussed was the idea of copyright law and the original intention of copyright law to be leaky for purposes of things such as research fair use and being able to comment on others works. However, one of the areas I have always found rather murky was what exactly falls under fair use. According to, There are four areas that are taken into account when discussing the flexibility of fair use. The first area is whether the copyrighted material is being referenced in a work that is for commercial purposes versus non-profit educational purposes. This first area seems rather straight forward, until the part of about non-profit education material. How does one define whether something is educational enough to fit under fair use laws? Should the educational part of fair use only apply for the purposes of something directly related to school, or should be more loosely interoperated to such things as  Youtube reviews of TV shows? The second area is what exactly is the copyrighted work. This is the most straight forward of the areas to look at. The third area ask how much of the copyrighted work is being used. This is where things get murky again as it is unclear what is the maximum amount of say something like a football game can be used before it is a violation of copyright. The fourth and last area to consider, when determining whether something falls under fair use is what sort of impact at the work that requires fair use can have on the copyrighted work. Despite the intention of copyright laws to be broad to allow for some level of interpretation, this is one area of copyright I wish was better defined. It seems to me the lack of  clear definition of fair use is more to the benefit of the person holding the copyright, as they can ultimately define whether there work is being plagiarized.

Blog Post Week 12: Afterthoughts of Documentary

November 17th, 2011

For the documentary project, I worked primarily on the narration bit at the end of the video as well as the blog entry. I also gave my input in terms of editing and putting the video together. Reflecting back on the documentary, I feel like the primary sources were not as useful as they could have been. This is because primary for the documentary my group worked on , the narrative was guided by the interviews. I know it was brought up in class today, but I just wanted reiterate that if this sort of project is done again, it would be useful of have some sort of paper or longer blog entry on the background of the documentary is going to be about go into some detail about the sources being used.

Of the sources that were used for the Library Cataloging documentary, I found a lot of interesting information in regards to issues with switching from card cataloging to digital cataloging. Anne Grodzins Lipow in her article, “The Online Catalog Extending Our Grasp,” discussed negatives and positives of libraries switching to the digital catalog. One of the cons to switching to the digital library that she mentions, that was not discussed in the documentaries, that I found particularly interesting was how digitalizing catalogs was problematic from the standpoint that different cataloging programs created vastly different digital catalogs. So a librarian who is familiar with a  digital catalog at one university, would be at a complete loss about a catalog set up on a different system at another university. This adds to what was a primary issue for the library catalog transitioning, the leap in cataloging technology.

Work Cited:

Lipow, Anne Grodzins. “The Online Catalog: Exceeding Our Grasp.” American Libraries, 20. No. 9 (Oct., 1989) November 9, 2011)

Library Catalog Digitization

November 16th, 2011


The transition between card catalog to the digitized catalog began in the mid-1980’s. This documentary project covers that transition and how it affected the field of library science. Transitioning library science into the digital age was a daunting process. Librarians in order to compete with the evolution of the library science, had to become familiar with computers and the multi-media side of the field. There were improvements that digitization brought to the field of library science. For instance, digitization created a whole new way to access a library that did not require a person to physically be at the library.  Reading source material about the transition gives the idea that despite the improvements in cataloging that came with the digital age, there was a resistance to drastic changes brought on by the era of digitization. Even today there is a sense of nostalgia for the days of the card catalog.



Rosemarie Arneson, interviewed by Joesph Calpin and Caitlin Murphy, November  10, 2011, Simpson Library, Fredericksburg, Va.

Richard Murphy,  interviewed by Caitlin Murphy, November 5, 2011, Murphy residence.

Julie Pringle, interviewed by Caitlin Murphy, Nov 5, 2011, Murphy residence.

Carolyn Parson  interviewed by Nicole Steck and Caitlin Murphy,  November 10, 2011, Simpson Library, Fredericksburg, Va.

Sources Consulted:

Crawford, Will. “The Catalog and Other Digital Controversies.” American Libraries 30, No. 1 (Jan., 1999) (accessed November 16, 2011)

Hopkins, Judith. ‘The 1791 Cataloging Code and the Origins of the Card Catalog.” Libraries and Culture 27, No. 4  (Fall, 1992) (accessed November 9, 2011)

Larson, Ray R.“Classification Clusters, Problematic Information Retrieval, and the Online Catalog.” The Library Quarterly 61 No.2 (April 1991) ( November 9, 2011)

Lipow, Anne Grodzins. “The Online Catalog: Exceeding Our Grasp.” American Libraries, 20. No. 9 (Oct., 1989) November 9, 2011)

Miller, Robert A.  “On The Use of the Card Catalog.” The Library Quarterly 12, No.3 (July., 1942). November 9, 2011)

Strout, Ruth French. “The Development of the Catalog and Cataloging Codes.” The Libraries Quarterly, Vol. 26 No.4 (Oct., 1956) November 9, 2011)


Music Used:

Cozy Blue, “Enjoy You Life,” score, 2008, Intervox, Megatrax: Music Plus Innovation.

Craig Garfinkle, “Clap Happy,”score, Megatrax: Cinematic trailers 8 epic/drama MX208.

blog week 11

November 12th, 2011

My group in working on a documentary decribing the evolution of the card catalog system to the digital catalog system. For my part in the proect I am working on narration inbetween the interviews as well as working on editing the interviews with Joe. For the narration part I am reading different sources on the card catalog system. Someof the information that is pertinant to the narration of the documentary is when the card catalog system first appeared. What was the reasonings behind thei ntial use of the card catalog. I basically want to give a brief background of the card catalog system and then tranistion into the interviews. Then my job in terms of writing the narritive is to supplement the interviews with information on when the card catalog system official started to go digital. Then at the end of the documentary I must bring everything to a close with dicussing were the system is now and were it is going to go in the future.  I am also helpign with editing the documentary. My group is using primere to edit the documentary, so I am going to have to use that program.

Connection between model trains and early computers? (Week 10 post)

November 3rd, 2011

One of the readings we had for this week on video games that interested me was Steve L. Kent’s ‘Ultimate History of the Video Game’. One of the interesting aspects of the piece of the piece for me was finding out that the guys behind some of the early video games were part of ‘The Tech Model Railroad Club’. First of all as someone who has worked in the hobby industry, the model train are an extremely expensive hobby. So from the standpoint that college students being having a club dedicated to model trains is an oddity. It is possible that the electronic model trains as hobby held a similar interest for the MIT model train club member much the same as a computer because they were both electronic?  What I also found odd was that a model railroader such as Steve Russel of his first ‘hack’ or game would make a game about outer space. One would think a club dedicated to the model railroad hobby would make a game involving railroads, such as a railroad racing game. I wonder if Russel actually settled for making a game about space, because it is a lot easier to make a game with non distinct UFO/spaceships shooting at each other than trying to make a game involving a train, which has such a distinct shape.

My thoughts on the Julian Assange TED interview

October 28th, 2011

I found the hackers readings this week interesting. The piece that I connected the most with was the TED discussion between Julian Assange and Chris Anderson. Before listening to the interview I had written Assange of as a hacker who was deliberately putting peoples’ lives in danger just because he had major issue with the people in power within United States government. However, my view of him changed very quickly while listening to the interview. For one, the interview discussed Assange using WikiLeaks to release information about Kenya. This to me shows that Assange is not merely picking a bone with the United States.  Instead, he is really an equal opportunist when it comes to releasing classified documents, when he sees corruption within a government. When the interview got to the clip of the American soldiers shooting at the Iraq civilians in Baghdad, Assange kind of lost me, with his smug attitude. However, actually listening to what he said I could see where he is coming from that the Iranians are people to, and they have to live with that sort of thing on a daily basis. The interview also left with me a lot of question to contemplate though as well, such as how does Assange and the rest of the people at WikiLeaks decide which information to leak? If we are to believe that they follow the idealized view of the hacker then they would release all the information. Yet, Assange admits that there is some information that they do believe should truly be private. I was also curious after watching the interview about the context of the clip with the soldiers.  The clip left me wondering why the soldiers were shooting at the Iraqis. Was this something they were ordered to do, or was this entertainment for them, the way the clip would suggest?

A shift from Capitalism to Imperialism

October 21st, 2011

One of the themes I consistently seen in the reading these past couple weeks is a shift from technology being pushed by capitalistic endeavors to technology being moved forward by the military. In the readings this week I noticed it particularly in Winston’s discussion of low orbit satellites.  Winston argues that the United States wanted to make advancements in satellite technology but through imperialistic means rather than through private companies such as AT&T (Winston 283). This is vastly different from pre-World War II United States, which had let Morse monopolize on the telegraph with Western Union and had given Bell, owner of AT&T, the rights to the telephone. In our readings during previous it is evident even during World War II Bell’s Labs a part of AT&T was greatly involved in research and development during World War II. So what prompted this change after World War II to see new technology being pushed by governmental and military developments rather than relying on privatized companies such as AT&T? One of the big factors that Winston I think gets at with his discussion of England’s advantages with technology after World War II is globalization. Through globalization in the post- World War II, the United States is able to see how countries such as Britain are able to keep up with them technology wise despite the United States supposedly being the dominate country in terms of technological advancements. This in turn leads to United States abandoning its capitalism is favor of a more imperialistic way creating advancements in technology.