Project Statement – Colin


Again for reference my final digital project can be found here or below

Project Description:

For my project I chose to curate an exhibit of the evolving relationship between music & YouTube.  Everyone knows that each have been affected greatly by the other but I wanted to explore what exactly has changed to both over the years. 

“Music” is a very broad thing. So without getting all “John Cage” on you – this exhibit will focused a few core areas of music, and their subtopics, on how they’ve been affected by YouTube.  The exhibit covers how the following have been affected: live music, the music industry, the history of music, & the education of music.

In the end the projects purpose is to not just bring awareness but primarily to promote discussion.  Many of these topics I’ve held close kept opinions about but never formally realized until I started writing about them.  Hopefully this exhibit will be a nice platform for people to start to develop their thoughts and opinions.  Also I set out for this exhibit to help push visitors to other sites & resources to gain further information on the topics covered

The platform I used to host the exhibit was


Goals of the Project

First and foremost I wanted to enjoy doing this project.  The topic selection and types of projects we could do were very open which was very refreshing.  I knew I wanted to do a digital project so I could build some sort of skill and also cover a topic that was interest of me and probably wouldn’t cover in another class.

Spurring from the “Machine is Us/ing Us” video that I covered during the course my idea for covering music began to develop.  The video hinted about how we must rethink certain things that we know; one of them was copyright.  Having down research on the topic in the past I knew I wanted to reopen the topic and explore how it’s changed since them but also go deeper into the topic of music specifically.  A lot of the topics I cover I feel use examples that most people would be able to understand.  If I were to continue work on the project I would hope to cover more of the niche of music that I personally enjoy.

For the topic I wanted to also make sure that it was one that covered an emerging technology that I was interested but also had an element of history to it of course.  In many other courses the bulk of the content was on the past and current events were just given a small amount of attention.  So with my topics I wanted to make sure to cover news that was fairly recent as well.  Overall I tried to make the topics as broad as possible but used case studies to bring it into context.  Moving forward I would probably like to do more posts involving current events as they happen.

The platform I used was WordPress and my goal for that platform was just to gain a basic understanding of its use.  Building off the practicum that was held during class I wanted to simply recreate what we learned and possibly go a little more in detail with the site.  Using a free WordPress blog you sort of max out the options that you may apply or tweak with the site.  Fortunately I also obtained a paid website that let me go into WP even further that what I planned.  Through this I was able to understand the difference between the two better and see the pros/cons of both.  In then end I tried to cheat the system and present my blog as a web page and the end result I believe is okay.  Towards the end of the project I also tried to experiment with the format with some of the pages in the exhibit.  I didn’t want each piece to just be a wall of text and wanted to make the experience a little more interactive.

In the end, as I mentioned before, the main goal was to create something that would push people to think about the topics covered.  Hopefully they would gather my opinion, think about theirs, go out and read more on the topic, and continue to develop how they felt.  I wanted to set up the site to make sure that process was as friendly as possible to go through.  I tried to include not only links & other content to what I was directly talking about but to other sources that would help give further incite or overview on similar topics.

Digital Project Reflection “Music & YouTube”

For my digital project, Music & YouTube, I researched and analyzed the effect that the video-sharing platform had on music.  My findings led to the creation of a blog that then turned into an exhibit highlighting the changes.  This exhibit became an outlet for one of my closeted interests in not only music & the music industry but also the impact that technology & social media has had.

Going into the project I had a peripheral sense of the affect that YouTube had on music but in no way did I ever know it was so dramatic and essential to how things are today.  Another finding that was intriguing was the discovery of the presence that music has in our lives and all the various roles that YouTube gets to play in them.

The content of my digital project was already of interest to me before I took this course.  But it was another interest that really spurred me into doing the project.  Knowing that I had the preference of completing a digital project I struggled for a little while about what platform I wanted to use in my research.  I ended up deciding to go with using WordPress.

Knowing the prevalence of WordPress online along with a large amount of resources & overall user friendly interface I felt that there would still be a learning curve but without the stress that usually comes with a new platform.  Another reason I went ahead with WordPress was because of the potential to use it for other projects in future courses and for my own personal use.  WordPress also proved to have opportunities beyond the requirements of the project if I wanted to explore further.

Doing the actually research on an emerging topic was another great experience.  The creativity allowed for our topic selection provided me the rare opportunity to focus on something outside of my major course work which is always nice.  It was also interesting to piece together a mix of purely entertaining articles written on the subject with new scholarly opinions that are just starting to develop.

Poster for my digital project


Show & Tell: wind map

Wind Map

‘wind map’ is a neat little art/data project that I stumbled upon when AU Alum Nick O’Neill posted about it on his facebook page.

To get to the point what ‘wind map’ shows you is a living portrait of surface wind data displayed on a map of the U.S. that is coming directly from the National Digital Forecast Database.  Data is updated by the hour & and the time that the data is pulled is located in the top left corner of the webpage.  Also provided are the top & average speeds followed by a visual key depicting the levels of mph.

By first impression ‘wind map’ is no doubt intriguing & eye-catching.  Watching the display of wind speed was never something I considered as possible or even useful; and to be honest never really thought about at all.  However there is potential use for this type of tool albeit playful.

When I first saw 'wind map' it reminded me of those desk sand pictures that people used to have


Looking deeper into ‘wind map’ other uses or functions appear.  For example the entire map itself is interactive.

  • You can click & drag to view around the map
  • You can hover over points of the map to get specific data for that point
  • You can double click areas of the map to zoom in
  • From there you can click Unzoom and start all over again
'wind map' more interesting than this guy


However one of the most applicable parts of the site to our class is somewhat hidden away.  Just to the left of the paragraph description is a link called ‘Gallery’ with a preview of four different U.S. maps.  Clicking on the link will bring you to a page displaying snapshots of each of the last couple days.

The static visual display of the past days wind cycles I found probably more interesting than the live feed.  ‘wind map’ turned science, into history, then into art.  From here you can click on any particular day that you wish to view the living portrait of that days wind cycle.




Google Custom Search Engine

This tool is pretty self explanatory.

What you do in a couple easy steps is customize a Google-powered search engine to a set criteria of what sites your would like to search

To start you go to

You’ll be presented with a very clean looking 3-part form with the steps of

  1. Naming, Describing, & Specifying Sites
  2. Testing it
  3. Getting the code
This is all you need to fill out to create your search engine


For adding a CSE to a blog or website that searches that website it’s even easier.  You just go here (, copy the code, paste in the HTML, and BAM… you’re done.  From there of course you can further customize it.

The best resource I found was their GSE for Educators Guide

So again you can just create you’re own engine that you can use and share with others that would look like this…

Or embed it in your site/blog

Another good example of a website that uses a GSE is  if you search anything you will notice on the results page the Google logo.

Something that I feel is interesting though is customizing the google search engine in a reverse engineering way- which can be especially usefully for searching for something just once.  The infographic below explains in detail below- click on it to receive more information.

Despite the annoyance caused by the length of the infographic I feel like these skills are good to know.

Colin Digital Proposal

Contrary to popular belief YouTube has had a much larger effect on society than being just a platform for people to post videos of keyboard’ing cats or reviews of Yankee Candles.  YouTube has become an integral part of our everyday lives.  What YouTube has done that is so remarkable actually involves little advancement in the actual process of recording/editing video.  The way YouTube has changed life as we know it is providing the ability to share videos in a radical new way.

All of a sudden videos that barely anyone would be able to see now has the potential to easily reach hundreds and possibly thousands in a short amount of time.  Videos from the past have become easily accessible & thousands of videos have been uploaded since you began reading this post.  But it doesn’t stop there.  The ability to embed videos in any website and record/watch them on mobile devices has expanded the capacity for sharing beyond a point that is very hard to conceptualize.  What has been achieved is very easy to look over and most likely because of the speed at which this all happened.  From it’s first video in April 2005 (Me at the zoo) to user-submitted questions being integrated into the GOP debates- YouTube has solidified itself in life as we know it.

YouTube being used at the CNN GOP debate

One of the most affected parts of our our culture that YouTube has changed forever is obviously music.  With my digital project I propose to curate a web exhibit that focuses on the different aspect of the music industry that has been changed forever because of YouTube.  My project would likely take form of a blog like to host a series of posts focused on specific topics that include video examples & commentary (both my own & outside) to help put the affects in a more historical context.

I’ve decided on four subtopics to curate my posts around- many have different layers under them and some may change.  They are…

  1. Copyright
    1. Loss of ownership
    2. Embrace of remix – Pogo
    3. Lenz v. UMG
    4. Birth of Vevo
  1. Discovery of Music
    1. How people discover music – embeding, blogs, etc.
    2. How bands/artists can be discovered
      1. Shortcut to celebrity – Justin Bieber
    3. Creation of the Pseudo video
  1. Affect on Past Music
    1. Ability to access a large amount of music at will
    2. See old concerts & interviews that were once extremely rare
  1. Affect on Live Music
    1. How people ‘view’ concerts
    2. Ability to see the show from last night

I’ve accumulated a healthy amount of articles to reference that hit on my subtopics from established publications like Wired to personal blogs.