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Final Blog Post

I would like to start out by saying…the back end of this semester sucked hard. I didn’t have to deal with personally moving, as I live in a house off-campus, but I still helped transition into living with me during the quarantine. I, like many others I’m sure, struggled with focusing on schoolwork while at home. I struggled with motivation in general to do anything besides eat and use the restroom. But, I was able to overcome these obstacles and push through to end. I had to remind myself that this was only temporary, and hopefully will not continue into next semester.

I felt really good about my podcast, and I think it turned out excellently. For my final Twine, I added quite a few Easter eggs for the people in this class specifically to find. A majority of the endings are still personality based, but if you take some specific paths, you might end up with some very interesting results. I decided not to make the personality quiz as dark as I initially planned. I figured people might not want to rerun it if the ending they got was a bit too harsh, so I toned it down a bit.

I realized with this project, that while I am generally a happy and upbeat person, I enjoy writing darker themes a lot. People don’t always want darker themes though, of course, so I think sometimes catering to your audience is more important than I previously realized.

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Final Project Proposal

For my final project for 420, I was thinking about revisiting Twine. I really enjoyed working with Twine the first time around, and I created a type of fantasy adventure with a tough-to-reach happy ending. This time, I want to create a quiz with trackers. I haven’t fully decided if I want it to be a type of personality quiz where there are no wrong answers, or if I want to quiz on some obscure knowledge area. For now, I’m leaning towards a quiz where there are no wrong answers, because after just writing that previous sentence I thought of cool twist I could add into that. I don’t want to reveal it now, because what fun would that be? But as of right now, I am deciding to do a Twine “Personality” Quiz. A totally normal, nothing out of the ordinary, personality quiz.

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Podcast Reflection

My original idea for this project was to take a song and break down the meaning of its lyrics. The more I thought about it, the more difficult I felt that would be as far as editing the podcast with the song. Licensing issues would just be the start of it. So I decided to go with my secondary option that I wrote about last time. I went with a fiction story over podcast and background music I found on one of those free sites.

The project started with a short story I had written previously that I had always felt would be better if I spoke it to people rather than have them read it. I didn’t understand how I would make that into a reality until listening to that Nightvale podcast and realized that is exactly what I wanted to do for my story.

I wanted this podcast to sound eerie, so I tried to record it in a strange, almost monotone voice. I gave some inflection when I thought it would be necessary, but I really wanted every part of it to feel weird, because the story is weird. The ambient background music fit well into the story, I felt, because it just added to that sense of underlying dread like something was askew. I thought the whole project came together pretty well in the end. The only hiccup I had was that my recording device saved the file as a .m4a and I had to look up a converter, but that was pretty easy. The actual editing and cutting of the podcast came easily to me as well, because I had edited songs in the past on FL Studio, so the controls were really similar.

I learned that I’m really glad I kept the podcast around 6 minutes, because I played those 6 minutes back over and over again. I couldn’t imagine having to edit a 20-minute podcast. And if I had to do this over again, I would want to have more objects available to do some proper background noises. I really only had my hoodie to throw on a chair to mimic the character throwing his winter jacket on a couch, and I had a lighter to mimic the lighter the character used. Other than that, the banging sounds were just me hitting my desk or the wall to try and make it sound legit. I would have loved to be able to actually smash an old glass vase to make the mirror sound right.

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Podcast Ideas

My first idea for a podcast would be to dissect and breakdown the meaning of song lyrics for popular songs. I could have the song playing quietly in the background, or I could play the section of the song I would break down and then have some other sound effects while I’m talking. I think it could be interesting. If we can work with a partner or multiple people, I think it would add an extra layer to this type of podcast. With even just one extra person, we could bounce different ideas of what some lyrics could mean and it may add a nice dynamic for listeners.

Another idea I had was to take a short story I wrote and incorporate it into a podcast format, similarly to the Nightvale podcast that we could listen to. I was really intrigued by the whole idea, as I wrote about previously, and I think it would be cool to do something similar, but with my own work!

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Podcast Afterthoughts 3/26/20

I decided to listen to the Nightvale podcast, and it was not at all what I was expecting. Not that it was bad, because it wasn’t, but I wasn’t expecting to listen to a creative writing story being told to me. My experience with podcasts has been pretty limited, I suppose. I’ve listened to a few podcasts just once, but I listen to Joe Rogan semi-frequently. Actually, I only listen to him when he has guest on that I like.

What is strikingly different between the Nightvale podcast and the other podcasts that I have listened to is the use of sound in Nightvale. I was actually taken aback by the sounds because all of my known knowledge of podcasts never had any sounds. So immediately I knew this was incredibly different. The fact that it was a creative story piece and not just a regular person talking in an interview style also added to that feeling.

The sounds used in Nightvale added to the experience of the story. Instead of just being read a creative piece in a monotone voice, the use of sound effects and background noise gave the piece an extra layer that couldn’t be achieved through a book form. I related my feeling listening to the podcast with playing video games because of the sound. In a video game, whenever you approach enemies or a stressful situation, the background music will change to match the scene. And that is exactly what was going on in Nightvale and I appreciated it a bit more because of it.

Something from the reading that really stuck out with me was the idea that podcasting is mobile medium. I thought about it for a moment and realized, the only time I’ve ever listened to full length podcasts is when I’m driving. I’ve never sat down at my computer and played a Joe Rogan podcast, other than a couple of minutes to introduce him to my friends. I only ever throw on a podcast on my iPhone and connect it to the bluetooth in my car. It’s interesting to think about.

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Social Media Project Progress

So this project has not been exactly progressing as I had hoped. I wanted people to jump in a little sing along on Reddit, by starting off with a song lyric. My original idea was to go to an artist’s subreddit and begin a song that was not theirs. For example, going on to Eminem’s subreddit page and commenting “At first I was afraid, I was petrified”. You know, something fun like that. That did not catch on whatsoever.

So I switched it up and started to comment song lyrics of the artist’s page I was on. That immediately was a larger and faster success. People replied to my thread faster than before, and I finally had a chain going of different redditers continuing the lyrics. I thought for sure that people would finish the song, however they stopped the chain after the intro chorus.

I had my most success on an NF post, which I will show a screen shot of below. I had a funny little quick thread on a Donald Glover/Childish Gambino post, which I will also show. And then other than that, I’ve had one comment added to my posts or none. I still have high hopes for this. I just need to comment on the right post at the right time and hope it takes off.

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Social Media Project Proposal

Vision/Mission: For this project, I have the vision of creating a new Reddit account for the sole purpose of starting off a song and hoping some other users will continue the song. Ultimately, I would want at least one song to be finished to completion.

Platform: As mentioned above, I would like to use Reddit as my social media platform. Anyone can comment on any post on Reddit, so it would be open to the millions of users to continue the thread.

Execution: I would go to music subreddits of specific artists. Like Eminem, J. Cole, NF, Joyner Lucas, and others. But instead of posting the start of one of their own songs, I would start a song from a completely different genre or artist entirely. So I would go on r/eminem, where the discussion is strictly Eminem focused, and make a comment on a top post that says “Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll me.”

Capture/Presentation: I could take screenshots of the threads that have continued off of my original comment, or I could create links to my successful threads. You do not need a Reddit account to “lurk” on posts and comments. (Lurking means to browse Reddit without posting, commenting, or voting).

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Social Media Ideas

My main idea is to create an account on Reddit called “Start_of_a_Song” and post comments on subreddits to start off a song. My goal would be to get people to continue the song without any additional help from me. I would screenshot my favorite ones.

I also thought about doing it on Twitter instead of Reddit, but I feel like Reddit will be interesting with the different subreddits/cultures that I can post to. I think it would be really funny to go on, say r/eminem, and comment the starting lyrics to “All-Star” by Smashmouth.

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Hypertext Ideas

So my first idea is the one I’m currently rolling out on Twine. It’s a fantastical adventure where the reader must make decisions which will greatly influence the outcome of the journey. This will most likely be my final outcome.

My second idea was to make a quiz similar to the Impossible Quiz flash games that we could play on computers in high school. A lot of things to click on for each page, but any wrong click would throw you back to the beginning of the quiz. This would be interesting to implement, but pretty difficult, I think.

My third idea was to make a simple directional story guide with two different choices on each page. I wasn’t too sure what would come of that one, but it was floating around.



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Uncle Roger

What an interesting web page. The first thing you click on is a computer screen with “Uncle Roger by Judy Malloy” and then it’s on. Then you can click on one of three files of poems or some information about the author. You can always get back to the previous page through a link.

What was really interesting was when you get into the files of poems. In the first file, you choose a link to follow, and then you are limited to which links you can select after that. BUT! You can click on the same link you clicked on before, and it will open up a different poem and different link options to click on. And you can keep doing that. Almost endlessly it seems.

The second file has three images you can click on to open a poem and the images change as you click on them. I didn’t have as much fun with this file.

The third file has blocks to click on to open up poems. The blocks will stay in the same position and each block only contains one poem. I liked randomly clicking on blocks to open different poems.

This was an interesting way to display poetry and I really liked it.