Category Archives: Class

Job Well Done

Well, that’s it. The link’s been emailed and the self-eval is done. So how to wrap up the semester on this blog? How else? A song that somehow relates to everything. So. Here’s the song that gave Rosie her name – Rosie the Riveter by the 4 Vagabonds.

And Well Done to all of us.

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Posted by on May 10, 2011 in Class


Drumroll Please!

New Home Page – the reboot

Rockwell’s Rosie Redeemed – the paper

The final project is finally done! I put in a “For Further Reading” page, I added wayfinding, I have the titles of the pages on my previous and next links (shamelessly stolen from others), I fiddled with spacing, proximity, repetition, and I accepted that the logo just didn’t work on the paper. But it works on the first page. I elected not to include the embedded fonts on the paper. The fonts don’t look as good smaller, and getting them big enough to have good impact meant they overtook the whole page. Rather than risk it being too noisy, I’m letting continuity of design connect pages together. I also reworked the footer – I have copyright, contact info (and an email address! whodathunk?) and my license information on ALL pages now. And an alert to email me for the full text on the last page. I’m wondering if it should be on all pages…any thoughts?

This class has been the most intense I’ve ever had – and I was a history major in organic chemistry back in the day. I got through, and I suppose, given my complete lack of ability coming into it, that’s the best I can ask for. But the site is done and up, and no matter what anyone says, I am quite proud of it. From hamsters and little green men running the internet to building a respectable site in 14 weeks – not too shabby.

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Posted by on May 9, 2011 in Class, Project


Small Victories

I’ve been playing with my image assignment and about page in an attempt to actually understand what I’m doing, instead of fumbling around in the dark. I wanted to actually have images of high heels and howitzers on the site. I found awesome pictures of a shoe and a howitzer that were oriented so that the shoe would run on the left and the gun on the right, and both would point into the site. (Cool, huh?) I also really really really really really want to have a clickable image for “go home” that is a red ruby shoe. Because there’s no place like home. Since that wish is evidence that I have clearly gone round the bend, I spent Saturday working my mad magnetic lasso skillz to take the image of the red high heeled shoe and the howitzer and turn them into silhouettes. I put them on the same background and made myself a logo!

I played with the image assignment and about pages this weekend because they have the simplest CSS, having been hand coded (about page) or seriously modified from the original template (image assignment). I now have a vermilion border offsetting the headers and my logo running down the left side of each page.Next is to fix the background of my logo. It’s white. The background of my site is that lovely silvery gray, #F5F5F5. (Yes, I memorized the hex number.) I would like the logo to blend right in with the rest of the page. Erin suggested I redo the silhouette with an original background of #F5F5F5 – which I haven’t tried yet. Hopefully that works.

I want my whole site to have a cohesive design…I’m conflicted about the text assignment page. I think what’s happening there is that I worked SO HARD on it, and I was really pleased with the final project, despite the obvious issues, and I am really loath to change it. It’s not that I fell in love with my own work, it’s more that I am Bound and Determined that my hours will have been wisely spent, and changing the design seems to throw all of that out the window. I need to get over that.


Posted by on April 12, 2011 in Class, Project


Moderately Moderate Moderation

There are so many things I’ve seen before or I was already aware of brought up in the readings and web visits for this week, but there are other things that I never thought of or just weren’t on my radar. I appreciated the information in the CSS3 video from, and it was nice to hang out with James for a few hours. And this time he didn’t teleport or stutter…much nicer viewing experience at 9 am on a Sunday. I have to remember that. He made a point early on that was borne out again and again in the movie: that, while CSS3 can be a powerful tool, it’s not always the best one. It should enhance the site in some way, and should not be included just because it’s there. I keep thinking of the line from Jurassic Park: “You were so caught up in what you COULD do, you never stopped to think if you SHOULD.” Granted, I’m not genetically engineering carniverous dinosaurs as a tourist attraction, but still – can and should are two different things.

Jakob Nielson – I am rapidly developing a nerd-crush on him. Having seen the 90-9-1 rule play out in my favorite blogs, I found his description and solutions spot on. Yes, this is a democratic medium. NO, there won’t be equal use or participation. And NO, you can’t unequivocally base conclusions on the 10% who talk to you.

The solutions for solving this problem seem so simple, but like I found with my image assignment fix, sometimes the simplest solutions are the hardest to find. The easy Netflix ratings system is one example of low cost feedback. In my previous life as an office drone, while waiting on hold I would cruise Netflix rating movies and getting recommendations. Easy, low time investment, and a good payoff – all things that will get a lurker to contribute. Promoting quality contributers is another great idea, and I think it’s well expressed on The Chronicle of Higher Education’s fora. All users get a post-count, including guest posters. Those who register get rankings and stars based on the level of activity, and can customize signature lines and tag lines. It’s simple and immediately rewarding.

The 90-9-1 rule is also why I only visit blogs that are heavily moderated. It seems to me, though, that the example of heavily moderated blogs would challenge Nielson’s conclusions, although I can’t be sure of that without knowing WHICH blogs he included in his study. Blogs like The Rotund and The Pursuit of Harpyness both have extremely tight comment moderation policies. EVERY SINGLE comment is reviewed. Even if you’ve already commented earlier in the same thread, your comment is snagged for moderation. We, as users, agree to the tight comment moderation so we may have a space without the kind of foam-at-the-mouth misogyny and hate-filled comments unmoderated sites can draw (See Also: Another reason I don’t read Jezebel). I find new commenters on a regular basis on the heavily moderated sites.

tl;dr – all things in moderation, whether it’s CSS3 or user participation.

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Posted by on April 10, 2011 in Class, Readings


Free Coffee

That free coffee is still up for grabs! Don’t worry, there’s no limit to the number of tries.  🙂

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Posted by on March 9, 2011 in Class, Comments


Alone in the Forest

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I really want this site to be.   I just didn’t have the mental space to consider bigger questions while struggling to get the type assignment done through the haze last week. I have a bunch of text on my standard background, a picture and a quote.  Yay?  What does that really provide?  Alexa’s and Erin’s posts about purposefully considering the digital applications have mirrored a lot of my own thoughts.  Right now I’m fulfilling assignment requirements.  But I need to go further.  As with design, I need to NOT BE A WIMP.

One of the problems I have is that I feel alone in the wilderness academically.  There are military historians, and there are gender historians.  There are people who study women in the military, and we’re on the same listserv.  But who else is out there?  Is there anyone else who applies Judith Butler’s theory of performativity to the debates over uniforms for auxiliaries?  What about Anne Fausto-Sterling’s theories about the constructed nature of sexuality?  Are there any other fans of Susan Bordo who also think tanks are awesome?  I’m SURE there are, but I haven’t found them.  I’m lonely.  But, wait a minute…I have this website.  That’s about gender…and military history…and it will have a blogroll…and there’s some historical work already posted about this…  So how do I turn this little class project site into a home for people like me?  Because THAT would be using digital media to get ideas out and about, and to foster conversation and intellectual development, and to create communities of scholars, and to open up the academy a little.

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Posted by on February 22, 2011 in Class, Project


Type Assignment

I have spent far too much time this semester ill, and this past week was no exception.  3 days of sleep might make me feel better but won’t get a website up.  Here’s what I have.  It’s obviously unfinished and I’m still working on it. I find that I am getting bogged down by my inability.  It’s the same refrain – I know how I want it to look but I just don’t know how to get it to look that way.  I’ve also found another level of footnote hell.  WHY do my <a href> elements add hard returns?  WHY???  I’m on the verge of scrapping the whole template and starting from scratch.  And i mean FROM SCRATCH.  I have the code for the webfonts, the footer, and I think I have a handle on boxes and containers.  I feel like I can get something up that won’t be pretty but I will KNOW exactly what is going on with the damn thing.  Right now, I’m just guessing.


Posted by on February 22, 2011 in Class, Project