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Eva Wallace

"The technology keeps moving forward, which makes it easier for the artists to tell their stories and paint the pictures they want" -George Lucas

Tech yourself seriously

As a twenty year old woman studying ‘Digital Humanities and Information Technology’ I have already become aware that technology appears to be substantially lacking gender balance. I can see this both in my own computer science classes and even in my workplace, so I became curious,is the divide really that large?

The first ever programmer is regarded to be Ada Lovelace.Grace Hopper was the first person to create a compiler for a programming language.Margaret Hamilton was the director of the Software Engineering Division of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, that developed on-board flight software for the Apollo space program(1).This is to name a few women that in the past have shaped so much of what we take for granted in tech today, so lets take a look at the largest industries of modern day to compare.

Below is a visualisation I created on ‘RAW’.I searched thoroughly and experimented with various tools I had found for visualisation purposes from the ‘DIRT directory’(A very convenient platform to discover various digital research tools).I explored various tools such as ‘Vida.io’‘Cytoscape’ ‘Gephi’and even ‘Open Processing’ .I will be sure to return to in the hopes of manipulating this open source code on Processing to give my visualisations a more interactive narrative.

The reason I chose ‘RAW’ is because it’s format was best suited to my Data i.e: I could use strings as well as numbers in a very straight forward and simplistic interface. I found this tool to be very user friendly even with a drag and drop function for my CSV file.

My visualisation below is showing the span of male and female in some of the largest technology companies in the world today.Each segment represents the gender filling that space in the company and the colours relating to the same location, predominantly

California.Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 1.27.35 a.m.

Distribution of just female workers

without total

As you can see above, my data is showing the span of female workers in these companies.When I created this visualisation I believed that it looked as if there are quite a lot of females here,until I made the comparative below of the just male workers. Without the need of trawling through piles of data and numbers I am showing you here a direct comparative outlining that there is clearly an imbalance.

Distribution of just male workers

m e tree

Here we can see a rapid increase in the amount of technology companies employing males.To ensure this data’s clarity I have created a control below with a side by side comparative. Women compared to the final total of workers(of both genders).

treemap

Judging from the findings above it appears that today technology is predominantly composed of male workers, even though it began the other way around and was even equal.

One strong theory for this downward slope include:

After the release of PC’s the marketing for computers was towards the male demographic which discouraged the female youth at the time to pursue technological careers(NPR site).

This marketing has since equalled but the culture of “bro-grammers”has developed which  still discourages young women today.Even on  television programmes based on technology makes this very clear e.g.:”Silicon Valley” even named the usual dynamic of programmer groups (seen here).

In an attempt to counteract this and in order to entice young women to pursue these careers the creation of workshops have been necessary to even make the addition of technology to a choice in a young girls life.

For example,the hashtag #ILookLikeAnEngineer was a campaign created to encourage young women to fill STEM-related positions that proved to be successful.It can be seen on ‘Twitter’ under that hashtag the impact that it had on young women.Common occurrences here include the girls stating how they’d not considered the career path until awareness had been raised.

In summation, the lack of women in technology/STEM related fields isn’t just in a classroom, it’s widespread worldwide. There is solid proof that this was not and will not always be the way as even just the encouragement from a campaign has proved it can increase numbers of young women.With the application of these simple steps it would be easy to recreate the gender balance that has previously been in place.

Statistics from visualisation:

CSV file(inclusive of statistics sources)

A Zooniversity assignment

UCG:The purpose of this assignment was to participate in a community engaged project.User Generated Content (UCG): “Refers to any digital content that is produced and shared by end users of an online service or website”,traditionally blogs,forums and social media.(1)

For me, I found this idea to be very familiar as it is something I participate quite open in by definition on almost a daily basis between both college and leisure. However, in using ‘Zooniverse’(2) I was introduced to a different example of this,to free exploration and participation on a much larger scale and on an academic level.

Projects: I was firstly eager to explore the project on “Emigrant City(3) . This project contains over six thousand handwritten mortgage and bond ledgers from the Emigrant Savings Bank records. I explored “emigrant city” in order to grab the opportunity to both participate in a larger activity and to see this little chunk of history.With this project one is free to mark,transcribe and verify each record.I enjoyed the option here as it allows the user to explore and participate at their own leisure in different areas of production in the digitisation process.

Below is an example of this project :

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 1.05.21 p.m.

In order to achieve a greater knowledge of Zooniverse I then moved onto “Operation war diary(4).In looking at a few other projects it gave me the opportunity to appreciate the different slants taken and variety shared not only in content on the site,but also in the style on the site itself. “Operation War Diary brings together original First World War documents from The National Archives, the historical expertise of IWM and the power of the Zooniverse community.”

Here is a view of what you can find on the “Operation war diary” project from an example of the pages to be investigated to the side bar that can be selected in order to categorise the data.It was a fantastic experience to be able to delve into this time frame and to, again, have a hands on approach.The usability of both of these projects were very straight forward and intuitive which I feel contributes to the ease of access.
Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 5.36.02 p.m.                         Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 5.36.15 p.m.

Process: With no prior experience I feel that this openness and freedom to explore is not only important in a platform but is also a huge attraction to the site and embodiment of what open platforms should achieve.This participating in these crowd sourcing projects I really find to be amazing as not only is it getting work completed voluntarily but is harnessing how easy it is to connect online to achieve something great.

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 5.33.19 p.m.

Each project had very brief and useful tutorials that after viewing, aids the user to fully delve into the task at hand. Between the two I participated in marking, transcribing,tagging and reviewing.

Neither project felt laborious nor does it tie the user down in my opinion,one can also simply click to the next page even when unfinished.This freedom kept my attention easily on both projects. I found that as a result of having my attention kept there was an element of excitement and exploration as if I was to discover the information myself.This is a fantastic example of the power crowdsourcing and UCG’s as I would have not other wise got this opportunity to explore information of this time let alone help to transcribe the information straight from this era from the comfort of my own home.

Implications: It is fascinating to me to be able to plunge into the specific time period thanks to these tools and platforms.It is a privilege to be in a time period that allows us to see handwritten notes and participate in bringing then straight through to the present. The process of digitisation can be seen as a method of making this information immortal.We can transcribe and save these pieces of information for both public consumption and documentation for future generations.

In this transcription I became a part of the projects that allow a deeper more personal layer added to enrich current information archived and written. For example, in the transcription of ‘Operation War diary’ the information now gives historians personal information from the people in the war themselves which is information that cannot just be simply generated.It is putting a face to the information and injecting emotion.This is  allowing everyone to get a closer look at the situations they other wise simply read about,not feel.The information can add to and reshape data collections and can be checked and manipulated for visualisations and many other uses not only in the Digital Humanities but in very many fields as well.

Furthermore in the digitisation of this information we are piecing together data like a puzzle and fine combing data that would otherwise be overlooked and publishing for global use. This creates interesting data sets in the case of emigrant city that can even be used by genealogists for further development,or digital humanists of course!

Considering that the term for crowd sourcing was first coined in 2005 the progression of this concept has developed in leaps and bounds, it is exciting to think of how far we can take crowdsourcing in the future.

What I learned from the experience: Crowd sourcing has the ability to make the world feel smaller to achieve projects from exploring galaxies to finding what Chinese takeaway is open through Facebook.

Using crowd sourcing is straight forward and simple in getting other people to participate in one project in a  wider,global scale. I feel that being a part of this and for any UCG now enables anyone and everyone to interact and develop in common interests and make a difference in conservation and development for the future generations and providing deeper information to add to fields in academia.I had not thought of UCG in this way previous and it is very exciting to be able to jump in and participate at the click of a button.

As a result of learning how easy and enjoyable crowdsourcing can be I would most definitely be interested in using it in my own work in the Digital Humanities in the future.For example, currently I am working on a content curation management plan for an archive,for the Cork LGBT archives(5).

This may be very useful here as the content itself is very large in size. Not only can crowd sourcing be used here in lightening the work load but also can then be used to spread awareness on the project itself. Even from the perspective of my minor(economics) the process of crowdsourcing presents to have having little to no cost which of course is very attractive to work with.It hosts the opportunity to share with like people of similar interests, in bringing people together from across the world for the same purpose who may not have otherwise met.Yet at the same time keeping diversity alive across the board which can be very important is developing something great(6).

Taking all of this into consideration I will be sure to harness this power for future projects,as well as to participate in more UCG projects in the future. I found these to very enjoyable and would highly recommend participation.

 

(1):Techopedia

(2):Zooniverse

(3):Emigrant City

(4):Operation War Diary

(5):Cork LGBT archive

(6):Jeff Howe on Diversity in crowd sourcing

Hakuna ma-Datas

To follow up to my last blog post, this is a progress post on the management plan in data curation of the Cork LGBT archives. 

Adhering to the SCRUM structure outlined for the team we met again for fifteen minutes that week to clarify details and check progress. The SCRUM plan is working well here as it allows criticisms from presentations to shape, not destroy the next progression.

For each meeting I draw up an agenda outlining what needs to be covered. I have broken this up into the strengths exhibited by my team mates for example: business,programming. I then match these strengths with the tasks at hand to eliminate each challenge.

In our weekly meetings (minutes distributed here on the open notebook pirate pad: Pirate Pad) we are meeting to check in and to evaluate the next step that is necessary. Such as

  • Identified the challenges to be presented  e.g.:storage of the archive, how to create the images of the boxes for the GUI(graphical user interface) and how to deal with unknown data
  • Identified strengths of the team members to choose who is best for each task (adhered to by the following task distribution) 
  • Identify how to get into the mind frame of the archivist to incorporate with our usual digital humanist/computer scientist mind frame
  • Show how the process is relating to itself (will be displayed in next weeks presentation *spoiler alert*)

The presentation itself is here Presentation was presented by Ben Murphy. That can now be viewed, it is in reply to the minutes of the meeting and created on Visme. The next progression on the project will be updated next week.

 

Past Present[ation] and future

With the combination of my last two posts and the usage of Emaze I created a presentation outlining the strategy plan to fulfil in order to reach the end goal of the data curation.

Found here: https://www.emaze.com/@AFZRWRCF/presentation-name

The end goal with the curation of this data is to keep the same excitement and enthusiasm expressed by the client in the discovery of this amazing information http://corklgbtarchive.com (Orla Egan)

The origin of this project is from the initial boxes discovered with Arthur Leahy. We want to keep this image, origin and heart. This is desired in instilling the same sense of excitement and exploration in curating the data into virtual boxes that separate to audio, video,text and images. Yet linked to the relevant data. This imagery can be seen at the end of the slide.

The next step in the process in under taking this task to manageable chunks to be slotted into the SCRUM plan and put into motion.

SCRUM-ptious

As mentioned in my last blog post SCRUM is a management method that stems from ‘agile’. Evernote notes

SCRUM is lightweight and perfect for clarity when a team work together in order to reach a common goal. It is flexible in the sense that is so fast paced that can easily be re adapted around the clients needs. In the case of the cork LGBT archives this method works very well as new content may be discovered as any point. http://corklgbtarchive.com

Here is an image of the SCRUM plan

This can be broken down to To do, doing and done. In assigning each person a colour per sticky note this allows each member to be able to clearly see the progression of the project. The transparency here keeps the flow of the project in manageable chunks with the relief at the end of saying ‘done’ to reduce pressure and increase productivity.

 

 

 

Agile style

The task at hand is to curate data from the cork LGBT archives by (Orla Egan )found here: http://corklgbtarchive.com

This data has mixed media which is certainly a task but an exciting one at that. The class is now broken into teams and a management strategy is necessary in order to have a plan to fulfil the task.

A hugely popular method of management in the technology industry is the AGILE method. To explain this is discussed in my evernote note book:Agile notebook

The 10 Key principles and notes on agile management (IT)
Big Values here:
*Individuals over tools
*Software over Documentation
*Customer collaboration over contract
*Response to change in a plan
Necessities
-Active user involvement
-Team empowered for decisions
-Requirements are under a fixed time scale
-Capture requirements at a high rate
-Each in bite sizes
-Frequent delivery
-Complete one before next
-Possible 80/20 (if speed to market deliver 80% product in 20% time)
-Constant testing
-Collaborative and co operative approach necessary
This management process is very much suitable in IT but will be broken down further to more digestible chunks taking the shape of SCRUM planning which I will discuss further.

What’s the Storify?

storify.

Storify is a multi modal tool that allows the user to create and publish stories quickly and easily.  I used Storify in order to publish an essay colliding principals of economics with digital humanities found here: https://storify.com/Evawallace/people-face-trade-offs yet the tool can be used on any topic either academically or frivolously.

I really enjoyed this platform for a few reasons. Firstly, how I believe story telling is a very important skill that should be more highly rated in this day and age. For example Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie spoke in a TedTalk about “The danger of a single story” [1] Adichie speaks of the importance of sharing and carrying information or “To create a single story, show a people as one thing, as only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become.”I believe that Storify empowers the user to become story tellers and to even capture their audience with usage of multiple formats such as Twitter,Facebook,images and gifs.

I found myself to be particularly intrigued by how easy the platform can incorporate social media into this story telling. This is because I am part of the generation that  have social media as a way to carry information, to tell stories though that medium, even if it isn’t used for that purpose entirely. I feel like Storify is modern in the sense that it can capture story telling in the way that it is going “Canadian tech journalist Mathew Ingram even called it the “the future of media.”“We have so many real-time streams now, we’re all drowning,” says Herman. “So Storify lets you pick out the most important pieces, amplify them and give them context.” All based under the theme of curation we can create and curate the news as students.[2]Storify allows students to harness the familiarity of social media into reliable sources that can be incorporated into their reports as well as teaching how to filter what is useful and not useful online. “Filter out the noise and identify reliable sources.”[2].

Secondly I really enjoyed the interface of the site, the drag and drop usability was very friendly and gave the impression of a very hands on approach. This gave a great sensation of creation as opposed to just typing lines upon lines to report. As well as this the finishing product can include multimedia that is friendly and can maintain attention span for longer as opposed to just reams of bulky text.

Storify itself I feel is injecting a creative burst into the usual presentation that would be appropriate for an essay. ““Insploration” is a term that Storify suggests as a step where team members individually explore and collect inspirational materials that is likely to be useful in the conceptualisation process.”[3] This shows how Storify is exploring new methods of retrieving  information making it a very modern and current platform to develop on.

The only difficulty that I encountered while using Storify just from a usability perspective is that you cannot upload images to Storify from the computer that you are working on. I found this to be awkward and something that I usually take for granted from other sites.However, in contrast to this, this feature means that the we are aware of the copyrighted content that we are using. Each item used on Storify is then immediately accredited to the author easing all copyright issues.

In summation, I find that Storify is a very straight forward and simple tool to use. It empowers the user to become a good story teller in making them aware of copyright and in providing the user with reliable sources and publishing abilities. The platform creates a great immortality for the content i.e.: social media has phases that may be hard to track down and reference again but Storify can keep the content build into a use friendly format.

Not only did I enjoy Storify but I feel that it can even be the right way for story telling/sharing to move. It is current in that it can incorporate all of what we are used to such as gifs for example yet at the same time then keep reliability of source, unlike the rest of the internet. I would encourage the usage of this tool generally in education of all ages as it can teach a frame of mind and a method of writing in teaching users to become great story tellers and not to fall into the danger of a single story.

References used:

[1]:http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1979905 “The danger of telling a single story”-Ted talk transcript Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

[2]:http://altechconsultants.netfirms.com/jmle1/index.php/JMLE/article/view/155/124-Storify (2011) Kelly Fincham (Link will download article)

[3]:http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1979905 “Storify:a tool to assist design teams in envisioning and discussing user experience” -Berke Atasoy and Jean-Bernard Martens

People face off-online

Below is the link to my storify essay crossing my minor,economics with Digital humanities

 

Storify essay

Storify essay planning

In preparation for creation of my Storify essay I prepped a mind map first in using Xmind seen here:

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 9.51.50 p.m..png

My topic is how people face trade offs as one of the big questions in economics (my minor study)and how this has an impact with Digital humanities. I am developing this into how for example two of the trade offs that we may face include freedom and even happiness/contentment.

Expanding into studies on this into social media such as Facebook.

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 12.13.56 p.m..pngScreen Shot 2015-11-23 at 12.24.11 p.m..png

I will later be publishing my completed essay link to this blog at a later point.

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