Monday, April 16, 2012

Update on My Final Project for New Media Theory and Practice

For my project this semester in New Media Theory and Practice, I‘m going build a Slash Page for my digital portfolio.  This site will serve as a virtual introduction to my scholarship, my pedagogy and me.  It will both visually and verbally convey my interests.  This site will take the place of my current professional site, which I don’t think truly captures who I am or my research effectively. 

This splash page will be built using Photoshop and XHTML/CSS.  I will use Photoshop to design/edit the images of each of the components on the page.  Then I will use XHTML and CSS to put them together in a web space, animate them and make them into links into sub-pages.  In addition to this overall framework, I have one portion of this splash page that I want to make interactive.  To make this interactive component, I originally was going to use a simple Flash program, but after talking to Shelley Rodrigo, I agreed to take the challenge and develop it in HTML5.  I am not a fan of Flash because of its incompatibility with iOS, but I felt more comfortable learning a simple Flash program because I feel like I have a basic sense of how Flash works.  However, Shelley encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone and invest in the technology that is up-and-coming, rather than the one that may be seeing its endpoint coming soon.

The first thing I did to work through this project was to spend some time sketching and talking through what I wanted it to look like.  I have had a murky mental picture of this thing, but I needed to talk through what it would really look like.  To do that I spent some time with some giant paper, colored pencils and my husband, just sketching and scrapping ideas.  From there I was able to get a picture of the components I need for the project.  Next stop—building!

Here are the components I’m thinking through:

The Slash Page:
· Side of a building with a street light next to it.  
· Building covered with various bits of graffiti and posters
· Center of the building, a door covered in stickers
· On the ground are a series of spray bottles, some lying on their side, some upright
· The bits on the wall include:
o Graffiti Lettering:  TEACH.
o A series of the same poster—done 1990s punk rock poster style that say something about Research on them  (Above them a sign “Post No Bills”)
o A wheat paste image of a Twitter Bird
o Some play on a poster that has a picture of me and “tear off” contact slips.
o My name is stenciled somewhere on the wall.
The Action:
· Hovering over each item makes it animate and enlarge.  The viewer can then click on it to enter the page:
o Door – “Enters” into a bio page with links to the other parts of the page (for viewers who want an hierarchical, linear experience)
o Street light –to my blog “Cicero’s Lightbulb”
o Graffiti Lettering:  Leads to a page on my teaching
o Wheat paste – leads to a page with my Twitter feed
o Poster series –leads to a page on my research
o Wanted poster – leads to my CV, unless you click on the “tear off strips” which lead to Contact me.

The Big Challenge:
Clicking on the spray bottles will take the viewer to a new page where the same wall from the splash page is now blank.  Clicking on the wall will allow them to “tag” it.  This will be accomplished through HTML5...once I figure out how. 

Once the splash page is created, I’ll create the contents to have a seamless visual identity.  This will require making Twitter and Blogger themes using CSS that continue the display from the other pages of the website.  It will also require revising my current personal website material (and CV) to continue the street art them that the other parts of the page will have.  These content pages will likely not be completed by the end of the Individual Project in English 866, but I will continue working on developing them for the Digital Portfolio project for the Foreign Language requirement of my degree.  

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