So this week was pretty stressful for me because of many outside factors but surprisingly enough bootcamp this week wasn’t that difficult. Maybe it was because the actual blog was already set up or I don’t really know what but this week seemed so much simpler than last week. I guess I also managed my time a bit better than last too. Making the email address was a no brainer, so no energy was wasted creating firstname.lastname@example.org and then having all the emails forwarded to my gmail account.
Save The Pandas is linked with the Main Flow of the ds106 blog, all thanks to Professor Levine.
I also took a look at the other student blogs and everyone else seems to have survived bootcamp too! It is actually really cool learning how to do all the things we see on the internet and (that I ) take advantage of.
I didn’t actually change the theme of my blog because for right now I like the simplicity of it. The point of my blog is to send a message, which I will hopefully be getting to soon now that I’ve learned the basics of blogging, so I want to keep it simple. That will probably change as I get more acquainted with the widgets and other themes that incorporate many different aspects of the Internet. With that said, I did learn how to change the theme for when I want to and it is honestly the simplest process in the world. I’m actually really upset I didn’t learn earlier when I had my study abroad blog because I kept complaining about how I hated the theme but never managed to do anything about it. The biggest godsend that WordPress created was Akismet. Right after I posted my blogs last week I kept getting ENDLESS emails about so-and-so commenting on my blog, all of which were spam. I was so happy that adding this plugin was a requirement because I honestly could not take it anymore.
With all that said, I want my blog to reflect my ideas and thoughts as an environmentalist and the projects I take on at Greenpeace; as the weeks go on I really hope to gather many different articles, videos, images, etc. that will be able to portray my views and send the message I want: to protect the environment. I want my blog to be a space that I can express myself and my views as easily and creatively as possible. I need to explore more widgets so that I can add various feeds from different environmental news sources such as Greenpeace, HuffPost Green, Sierra Club and many others that I follow and constantly retweet. They always have informative and interesting articles that I think everyone would enjoy and I would like to share them.
My welcome page gives people an overall view of me and my plans for the website and I hope to make this space as useful and creative as I can. Since I made the mistake last week of registering my site as savethepandas.net and not ds106.savethepandas.net I just linked my ds106 blog to the website and talked about my plans (kind of like what I’m doing here) for the site. I am planning on changing the theme to incorporate many pictures and links to different environmental campaigns, websites and anything else I think is important but for now I’ll keep it simple while I’m getting the hang of things. I would rather have a simple site than one that is a bit ugly because I haven’t learned everything just yet.
The Daily Creates for this week were very interesting and I chose two that I thought reflected a part of my everyday life (a bit like last week’s assignment). The first one I chose to do was of one thing you must do every single day so I chose to upload a picture of chia seeds to flickr. Chia seeds are an Aztec seed that provides a ton of protein, omega-3s, fiber, and antioxidants. They have no taste and I just sprinkle a tablespoon or two on everything I eat. I stay full all day and it helps me to stay healthy, and since I can put them on anything I have no excuse not to use them. I encourage everyone to go out and buy them and use them all the time! They are super cheap (2 lb. bag for $10 at Costco) and are super good for you! *end promotional rant*
The second TDC that I chose to do was to describe the sky in one sentence without using any color words. I liked this one a lot because I had to call upon my English skills from back in the day. Though it didn’t take me long to come up with a sentence to describe the sky, it did take me a few times to do it without using colors. The first time I was obviously just thinking of the color blue, but then I tried to use white and gray to describe things IN the sky, completely forgetting that those were colors too. In the end this is what I came up with:
By far the most difficult thing about this week was creating a GIF. When I first researched everything I came across a bunch of create-your-own-gif websites like GIFsoup and imgflip but then I realized that things had to be a bit more complicated than that…and boy were they! I used the ds106 handbook and learned how to make a GIF from scratch. Looking back on it, it wasn’t actually that complicated it just took a lot of steps. I first had to download a video from youtube, and then trim the section of the video I wanted. That was all pretty simple, it just took me a while to find a video from Kung Fu Panda (which I thought was appropriate because 1. it’s a great movie and 2. I am totally like Po the Panda when it comes to eating). Now here comes the hard part: downloading and using GIMP editor. For some reason I ended up downloading a bunch of other stuff onto my computer (which I now have to remove) because I guess I wasn’t paying attention. After I finally settled everything out I opened the image as layers and saved everything to my computer, I even figured out how to crop and remove the black bars that used to be above and below Po. I was really proud of myself when I was finished because I created a gif using open source software from scratch! The only thing I was disappointed with was the speed of the gif but I think I needed to change that while I was trimming the video, but I still think it looks good!
This gif represents how Po used his own special skills to become a great warrior. Since he was so used to eating all the time his master used food to coax him into learning the various moves he needed to master. As you can see there are dumplings that Po really wants but they keep getting away from him, in order to eat them he has to complete the task! It’s pretty much the same idea with me so I thought this was a good scene
Overall the ds106 experience has been really fun and I’m so happy to be learning all these new things (while simultaneously impressing my friends)! I loved setting up a website and learning how to use it and embedding various images and videos. Looking back on it bootcamp wasn’t all that bad especially since I learned to manage my time in week 2. I am really excited to learn new things and get even cooler things going on my website. This class has already taught me so much that I will be able to use in the future and I am actually thinking of creating a website after graduation and continuing to blog. Ds106 has really brought out my creativity (which is pretty dormant most of the time) and allowing me to create things that I can share with everyone who uses the Internet, it is a really exciting experience!
As an end to bootcamp I will leave you with pandas in their own kind of bootcamp! Looking forward to the upcoming week!