Final TikTok Project

We finally made it! I had so much with this project and hope you find it as amusing and informational as I do! Enjoy! Link to “Savage” video featuring me:

Link to “Say So” video featuring my beautiful best friend Emily:

Final Poster

Reflection: Throughout this process I learned how to use edit social media videos and make TikToks. I first started editing Snapchat videos; really just splicing up the videos. I gradually made my way over to TikTok which is so much more advanced that I thought it would be: you can do so much on your phone and really completely change the video. I spent probably a total of 20 hours looking at TikToks trying to pick out the best dances that would be easy enough to learn but also would allow me to superimpose text in the video. This was probably the easiest part of the entire process; all I had to do was scroll through thousands of videos.  I wanted to pair what I thought was the best fitting viral dance/song to the a certain moment in LGBTQ+ history. For example, I think Harvey Milk was a savage, so I paired his history with Megan Thee Stallion’s song “Savage,” I think the song “Boys Ain’t Sh*t” went along perfectly with the history of the Stonewall riots, because policemen had the nerve to breakup a safe place for LGBTQ+ to express themselves so they ain’t sh*t. The next step was to align the text boxes to certain moves; I wanted to have new text align with specific moves so it all looked cohesive. I made six storyboards planning how I would combine the text and movements; this made the process so much easier because I had everything laid out already before I even started recording. Because I was unable to record all six videos, the storyboards act as the final draft of what would have been the video. The most difficult aspect of this project was learning and perfecting the dance.

I practiced dancing and editing with my mom because she was doing some weird thing with her friends in which they all sent each other videos of them dancing so it worked out perfectly. I made my mom learn the “Savage” dance: we practiced in the kitchen for an hour for three days before I felt comfortable enough to record. What I wasn’t anticipating was how difficult it was to make my face look happy. Emily, my other dancer also expressed this challenged. After I recorded my video it was time to record Emily’s. In order to maintain social distancing protocols, I had to record her from a safe distance outside. I knew that because I wouldn’t be able to have as diverse of a group as I initially wanted I was going to have to focus on making two really great examples.

This project was so much fun and also really informative: I exposed myself to a new social media platform, and I learned a lot more about the LGBTQ+ community. I am so grateful for those who came before me, challenging the status quo which now allows me to express myself freely and openly. While I am of course disappointed I couldn’t do everything I set out to, I am happy with the videos I did make and the skills I now possess. Maybe I’ll become a TikTok star now with all this new found technological expertise (just kidding, I  would NEVER succumb anyone to watching me dance ever again.)

TikTok for LGBTQ+ History Draft

I have spent HOURS learning how to use TikTok and some of the most popular dances, my favorite by FAR is Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” which I am using to talk about Harvey Milk, because he himself was a savage. Below are two ‘storyboard’ type of things that lay out how I will construct the videos with the song, text, and moves to go along with them. As we are social distancing, I am unable to film a diverse array of people; I am limited to myself and my best friend who lives across the street. I am hoping to have two videos completed and at least six or seven total ‘storyboards.’ I have been having so much fun with this project: immersing myself into the TikTok culture and learning how to edit videos. I feel like I am finally coming into my Gen-Z identity!

“Savage” Harvey Milk
“Say So” Legalize Same Sex Marriage

M(Apping) Media

I hope everyone is staying safe while working on those final project drafts! I felt very pressured to do these readings well for two reasons: 1. Cameron and Jack are intimidating (in a good way) 2. Mobile apps and mapping is a big part of a lot of people’s projects, except mine. So here we go! (please don’t hate me, I’m just a poor philosophy student stuck with only her thoughts to entertain and torture her).

Okay so first was Mobile for Museums by the Center for History and New Media (CHNM). IMPORTANT: PUBLISHED IN 2009 this means that a lot of the technology is pretty much optimized and the concerns about a mobile device’s ability are null and social media was JUST becoming a thing. The project surveyed a bunch of different museums about mobile content. The project aims to provide suggestions for smaller budget museums that may not have enough resources, training, or personnel trying to provide the mobile content for the widest audience. Through these surveys, the project found that most of museums that have mobile content are reliant on the visitor’s devices rather than the more cumbersome audio tour devices. The most popular format used by museums is podcasts; ones that often talk a visitor through an exhibit. Side note: at the Cleveland Museum of Art (top 3 in the country) I went through a Michelangelo exhibit with an audio tour with a provided device, and it was pretty easy to use, although I would have preferred to use my own device, but the navigation and interface was really user friendly. Also common are apps created by the museum that allow a visitor to go through the exhibit online, some museums have even made QR codes for certain objects that people can scan using their phone to learn more about. There was concern that most devices didn’t have the capacity or ability to scan QR codes, but that is not a problem anymore. Some museums used the mass text option to reach out to patrons; again, this is replaced by the prevalence of social media networks.

After laying the groundwork for what has already been taken on by museums, the project goes on to offer a few recommendations to improve efficiency and increase audience interaction. This is broken up by focusing on Infrastructure and Technology, and Content and Implementation.

First tackling Infrastructure and technology, the main suggestions relate to cross-platform development and open sourced databases. The best mobile content is that that doesn’t rely on a specific type of app or interface. So I don’t really think this is a problem any more. An offered solution is for museums to develop cites that use CSS so different devices could access the same site. The project really pushes for museum website to start “using CSS and XHTML to draw content out of standards-based databases” which would provide institutions with more control over specific mobile content. This leads to importance of open source databases for museums. The project acknowledges that a lot of museums just don’t have to resources to create their own personalized website, so they recommend Omeka more than anything because it reduces the need for high software and technology experience. This is great because we have gone over Omeka, so we at least know the basics.

The next main area of concern comes from content and implementation. Most museums mistakenly focus on in-person gallery experiences that often limits how far the site goes. Museums instead, should interact with things that go beyond the physical walls of the building to reach a greater audience. Also, the project advises against having visitors download a specific app for the museum, although I think this is not a bad idea if the app has been well developed and troubleshooted. Important in content is meaningful engagement; how a museum gets and keeps people interested and involved. This has got to be the hardest part of any project: will people even look at what I’ve spent so much time on? The project suggests that a focus on creating a space for valuable interaction is very important. Providing a space for users to comment, share, and communicate with museum staff and each other opens up new possibilities and ideas. I need to remind y’all that lot of the problems brought up by the project are solved with Twitter and Facebook, it is not difficult to create an online presence.

After the recommendations, the project offers three prototypes, or rather “proof of concept;” that shows what they suggest isn’t impossible. The first prototype is  a variety of Omeka Plugins for mobile devices that any museum can access. The second prototype takes the plugins and makes a mobile-friendly website. This is what they envision for a productive mobile interface:

I have NEVER seen a phone that old in my whole life. The last prototype was a native cross-platform app. This one really thew me with all the old tech language. I don’t know anything about “how code can be shared and licensed” but I only know of one app that iTunes didn’t have but Google Play did. They also mentioned blackberry apps, but I haven’t seen a Blackberry in about seven years so. The project has a link to an open source Google Code that doesn’t exist anymore. Overall, I thought this project was cool for the time but seriously outdated and most of the problems are solved with the advancement of smartphones.

Phew, okay next article, much shorter and easier to read. “A Place for Everything” felt like a coffeehouse chat with a concerned museum curator. The article is concerned with the development of a virtual reality app called Chicago 00 by the Chicago History Museum (also CHM) that “brings historical images of Chicago into the city’s central business district via an augmented reality.” Curator John Russick wants to geo-locate all the objects in the museum to their actual location in a contemporary Chicago. This idea is cool; bringing artifacts from the museum to their real historical ‘home’ which is overlaid on the current city. I was pleasantly surprised when Russick addressed a common theme when recording history: under-representation. Mapping the contents of a well-respected Chicago museum is going to reveal the unfortunate truth that mainstream institutions often neglect the less privileged and affluent people of history. The app would portray areas of Chicago as lacking a history, which is of course not true, but appears as such because they were not included. Russick struggles with a lot of questions and thoughts, that I’m certain we have discussed in class. He wonders if he could make a mapping project that could be edited by community members so under-represented stories could be told. While Russick doesn’t offer many real solutions, so much as tosses out ideas, I’m hopeful to know that curators are beginning to recognize the problematic nature of museums and possible collaborative digital solutions.

Do community additions bring the same level of credibility and authenticity as a museum addition? How if ever can this disparity be reconciled? Hope everyone is practicing responsible social distancing but still keeping good mental health habits! I hope I did these articles justice and made some of you think about your own projects!

The Rossetti Archive

This is an online archive dedicate to Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who before looking at this archive, I had no idea who he was. He is a 19th century English poet, illustrator, painter, and overall artist, who was, according to the site.”

the most important and original artistic force in the second half of the nineteenth century in Great Britain.” So I was pretty surprised that I had never heard of him. Done in four installments, the website aims to provide access to all of Rossetti’s works stretching from 1848-1920. It is part of NINES (Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-century Electronic Scholarship) which an open source collection of scholarly articles on important 19th century British and American culture. The archive is groups his works into nine different categories then sorts the works chronologically and alphabetically. This makes finding specific works very easy. Clicking on an piece brings up the description of the work as well as a scholarly article on the piece. There is a cool timeline feature in the poems section that plots all of Rossetti’s poems. I thought this was really cool because it put into perspective just how many poems he had and the span of which he was working. If there is particular piece you want to look up, you can go to the search engine that allows you to put all of the information you know about it and searches the entire archive for it. Overall, the website is very easy to navigate and is organized in a cohesive and maneuverable fashion.

I can’t think of any person going to this site unless they already knew about Rossetti, so I wonder if there would be a better way to get this site to a wider variety of people.

Digital Project Proposal: TikTok its Time for Equity!

High schoolers have begun using TikToks to explain historical events in succinct and effective ways. In six seconds, teenagers have been able to explain some of the most important events in the course of history in fun and engaging ways. I want to use TikTok to represent important moments in LGBTQ+ cultural history within the United States.

Creating a series of collaborative TikToks of important moments in LGBTQ+ history would not only allow for an accurate understanding of the historical struggle to create a culture but also would provide a space for marginalized individuals to interact with other community members. I, nor any individual has an all-encompassing knowledge of every significant event in LGBTQ+ history, so making this a collective project is imperative. Moments important to my identity may omit other, equally important moments to others; thus, inviting others to create allows for my and others knowledge of the shared history to be disseminated. Even those who don’t identify as LGBTQ+ can still learn from and enjoy the content created. 

LGBTQ teens come out on TikTok. (Washington Post illustration; iStock)

Two events that I know I have to include are the Stonewall riot in the 1960’s and the 2015 Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage. The Stonewall riot marked the unofficial beginning of the gay rights movement. Up until then, homosexuality was left out of any discussions on equality. The riot brought attention to the discrimination and oppression gay people had endured up until that point. It was when straight people became interested and involved in equality for other sexual orientations. Equally important, if not more so, occurred in 2015 when the Supreme Court federally legalized same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges.This monumental decision forbade states from refusing to issue marriage liscince to same-sex couples. This is crucial to the LGBTQ+ movement because it happened nationwide; it became illegal to reject the marriage rights of gay people. There are of course many more important events, including but not limited to: the election of Harvey Milk in 1978, the complete removal of homosexuality from the DSM as a mental illness in 1987, and the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ in 2010.

Image result for lgbtq+ history
Seven influential people in the LGBTQ+ movement.

I have never used TikTok before, so understanding the ins and outs of the app and creation format will be a process itself. Hopefully doing this tedious work will enable me to make the best content that resonates with the most amount of people. If anyone is a regular TikToker with some tips, help a girl out!