Final Project-Working on the Timeline

December 14th, 2011

For my final project on the Information Age I took on the task of adding more images to our timeline. I also kept track of all sources and put them in a basic citation for Abbey and Christine to check and standardize. I was a little surprised at how much time this really took. I sat for hours going through each post looking for any image that would be cohesive with the original post. I also took the opportunity to add a video into the “Youtube Founded” post that I had found early in the semester for our documentary project. I thought it would be helpful to see the evolution of Youtube over its first five years. I used a variety of sources to find these images as well. I believe that I added as many images as I could, as some posts had dates that were too early (BCE dates), and for some posts I just could’t find images that could support the information stated. Overall though, I added a total 89 images to the 240 total posts.

Thanksgiving Week 11/22

November 25th, 2011

This week I lead discussion with Nicole and I thought that the readings we decided on using were really interesting. I never really though of copyright as such a complicated thing, all I personally ever used was “fair use”. I never knew that once you personally created something and put it down that it technically had copyright. I thought we did a pretty good job covering both of the chapters and having the class participate. I think we were also supposed to cover infographics during the discussion but for some reason it wasn’t posted and Monday night when we checked and saw that, we had to cut that part of our discussion out. We had an activity about infographics planned if we had time, but we went the entire time talking about copyright.

Documentary DONE!

November 19th, 2011

Well this week was a bit hectic to say the least. We had to finish out documentary and we were having tons of problems. First the clips we did film would not work on the iMacs in the Digital Media lab so we had to upload them to a PC and then when we worked with that computer it kept freezing. So we tried to save them on another computer and the files were corrupt. There were a few other problems but we were able to bypass them once we got the clips uploaded. As far as the work load, my main portions were researching for the Introduction to tutorials and the section about YouTube. I also wrote up what to say during those sections and did the voice over for the entire video as well as half of the citations. I used GarageBand on a Mac to make my audio clips. I really liked this project though, I just wish that there were legitimate people that we could have interviewed to make it seem more like a documentary. Overall I am pleased with what our group ended up with.

Documentary Week 1

November 11th, 2011

This week we really began working on our documentary. Our topic is the evolution of how to’s/tutorials from text to video, which we all really like. The only problems that we have run into though is that there aren’t very many sources on video tutorials and none of us really know an expert on this topic, thus we have been left to interview each other. I’m going to be completely honest, I’m a little worried about how much time we spend on focusing on the historical aspect of the how to and not focusing too too much on different things like cook books and YouTube. Hopefully we can get enough information from our journal articles on the tutorial system, but until then we have to keep searching. We started filming this week as well, and like I said before, we have been left to interview each other. I’m pretty sure we are going to us the Digital Media Lab so that we can use iMovie and I won’t blow up my old and decrepit MacBook. Well that’s all for now! Happy Veteran’s Day!

Preliminary Documentary Info

November 10th, 2011

Topic: The evolution tutorial/how to’s


List of Sources:

“The Tutorial System in College” by Andrew F. West

“The Tutorial System” by W.S. Rouverol,4670,TECYouTubeTutoring,00.html

Documentary: a history of the non-fiction film by: Erik Barnouw


Video/Audio Sources:

Right now we don’t have any video or audio sources like interviews or video clips, but that may change as we go along.


Preliminary Outline:

  1. Introduction
  2. History of the tutorial system
  3. Books, Magazine, etc.
  4. Transition into internet Video tutorials
  5. Youtube emerges

Telephone Project! 9/27 & 9/29

September 29th, 2011

This week I had to do some research on telephone for my project. I thought this project was really interesting and different. It was kind of difficult to keep it limited to 300-500 words just because as a history major I feel like we are so used to writing at least 4-6 page papers. You just don’t feel like you have enough information there, even if you answer everything you need to. I really enjoyed Kyle, Mike, and Joe’s presentations in class of their projects and I thought they all did a really great job. This week my discussion group was also working on getting our readings together for next week’s discussions. I’m excited to talk about advertising and propaganda since last fall I did my 299 research on propaganda of World War II.

The Telephone-Process & Complications

September 29th, 2011

The telephone is one of the pieces of technology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that is said to have numerous creators, though Alexander Graham Bell is given the most of the credit, as he was the first to patent it in March 1876. Entitled, “Improvement in Telegraphy,” that was exactly was Bell’s telephone was intended to be. Casson describe how Bell “toiled at his musical telegraph and he dreamed of replacing the telegraph and its cumbrous sign language by a new machine that would carry, not dots and dashes, but the human voice.”1 Rather than the complicated codes needed while using the telegraph, normal human speech could be sent and received without actual face-to-face contact. Coe describes Bell’s first telephone communication, “Bell’s famous transmission, ‘Mr. Watson, come here, I want you!’ took place on March 10, 1876. It is part of the myth and legend of the telephone, and by many it has been assumed that this was the first intelligible transmission of human speech.”2

But Bell’s call was not the first time human speech had been electrically transmitted. Elisha Gray had used a liquid contact transmitter before which allowed for the necessary current for speech transmission to be established. It took forty weeks to get the telephone to do more than make strange inarticulate noises.3 And once it did “speak.” Bell realized that this liquid transmitter would not be suitable for commercial use.4 Bell’s telephone had a single magnetic unit that acted as a receiver and transmitter. This was one of the major complications as it was frustrating to the user that they had to constantly be moving their head to use it both ways.5 Loomis describes “the first commercial telephone in 1877” as “a box telephone, about the size and shape of a breadbox. This instrument [telephone] served as a receiver, transmitter, and calling device all in one…And its single opening was used for both talking and listening. The awkwardness of this arrangement led to the development, later in 1877, of the hand telephone.” 6. Another complication was that two telephones were directly connected to each other, preventing either party to call anyone else. These were not the only problems in the early use of the telephone however. Speaking of George Maynard, who was in charge of the telephone network in the Washington, D.C. area, Loomis states, “From 1877 to 1879 [George Colton] Maynard also wrote dozens of letters complaining, often bitterly, about shoddy workmanship, faulty design, and instrument failure due to loss of magnetization, corrosion, and the absence of quality control.”7 Although the early telephone had a complicated process of sending and receiving information, it was still able to succeed through new developments and innovations that made it less awkward than the first and an overall better quality machine.

  1. Herbert N. Casson, “The Birth of the Telephone: Its Invention Not an Accident but the Working Out of a Scientific Theory-Bell and Watson Teaching the Infant to Say Words,” 12672-12674, in The Worlds Work Vol XIX (Doubleday, Page & Co., 1910), (accessed September 28, 2011).
  2. Lewis Coe, The Telephone and Its Several Inventors (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1995), 2.
  3. Casson, 12674.
  4. Coe, 2.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Richard T. Loomis, “The Telephone Comes to Washington: George C. Maynard, 1839-1919,” Washington History 12, no 2 (Fall/Winter 2000/2001): 27, (accessed September 28, 2011)
  7. Ibid, 28.

Timeline Week 9/20 & 9/22

September 22nd, 2011

Well, this week was definitely a little more stressful just because our timelines were due today in class. I really enjoyed working with my group, there was just so much we had to get done for our topic of Broadcasting. The discussions were as any average college discussion would be, talking about the readings and expanding, but I really honestly liked how last weeks group leaders got the whole class involved. I think that all the discussion should try to incorporate something like that into each of their weeks. I did like how this weeks group chose to compare today’s journalism and newspapers to those of the past.

This past week 9/13 & 9/15

September 17th, 2011

I really enjoyed Thursday’s discussion/activities in class. I like how the leaders directed away from normal discussion for a little while and actually made all of the class get involved. I found the readings to be pretty interesting too, and different. The idea of coffeehouses would have never popped up in my head thinking about the “History of the Information Age”. I’ve been working on my group’s timeline as well, and there’s a whole lot of research going into this, so hopefully the class’ timeline will be really in depth!

A little about me!

August 31st, 2011

Hi, my name is Claire Brooks and I’m a senior. I am originally from Glen Allen, VA, a suburb of Richmond. I grew up there pretty much all my life. I am on the women’s basketball team here at Mary Wash and I absolutely love it. One of the main reasons I took this class was because last Spring I took Dr. McClurken’s American Technology and Culture and I really enjoyed it and thought that this would be a sort of expansion of it, at least the end of it. Plus, I like current and more recent history so it seemed like a good fit.

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