Bootcamp Smashed! Unit 2

I am posting prior to the weekly deadline of the student sections because I started my unit seven days ago – so this is my Sunday night.  A good tip – I did take the advice of previous ds106 students and added to the summary as the week progressed so that at the end of the work being done it is just some tweaking and voice to be done. That was an excellent piece of advice and good to learn early in the journey. So here is my unit summary for Bootcamp week 2.

blogregister I have confirmed that I can fill out a web form and follow directions!! My blog is registered on the DS106 Openonline page feed. 🙂 Happy Dance for Digital Mustard!! Having an established identity for the blog creates a different feel and perspective for doing the work. It is mine – not the courses – so its my creds on the line now. Name your blog and own it – another nugget to collect.

Customizing my Blog

This part is a satisfying accomplishment. In my past professional work there were many different tools to be set up and configured as well as designed. Websites, communities, LMS, email templates, virtual conference rooms, etc. Creating for a business group is different in that you have other factors to work in to the mix and pleasing multiple stakeholders. In many ways this is another way for me to see if I can “cut the mustard”. Can a establish an online presence that reaches others, makes sense, communicates well and is sustainable and maintainable in a real life situation? That is yet to be determined.

Themes: – SO MANY THEMES!!! One could get lost for days just looking at themes.

  • Does the theme have a good layout for widgets?
  • Clean and minimal? Colors and Pattern?
  • Text dominant or graphic dominant?
  • Do you want to pay or try a free option?

Settled on the 2011 default theme. It gives me the option of a rotating header graphic to include some of my photos without having to change the header all the time. I like the randomness and the dynamic nature. The theme also allows me to pack in content through widgets and posts and not have all the “noise” around it of background graphics and colors.

Personalizing with my own pictures was important. Having widgets for my Flickr and Instagram another plus. Tying in community thru the Twitter feeds was also important. While I can use Tweetdeck – a quick glance in the blog does a status check without getting sidetracked when trying to do other things.

Blog Menus: Establishing a menu for navigation and categories to keep things organized and flowing came next. Tagging is still a skill to improve upon. I tend to create too many new tags instead of confining to a set. I am also trying out the sharing feature in order to push my comfort level on the fact that others could indeed be interested.

I do think it is already starting to reflect who I am and how I am and will be growing thru this process and onto #ds1064life by taking my own spin on suggestions or guidance given. I especially like the comments back that allow me to find out things about myself that I didn’t realize were showing or how someone else may view.

Things I would like to do in this space would be that after completing the ds106 units that I have been successful in establishing my place and my voice and can continue to add and expand for some time to come.

ARGHHH!!! – Just found the toggle bar! I was wondering why this theme didn’t let me format more!!! Should have remembered – the same thing is in Moodle now and other online systems.

While I am currently owned by and have not installed my own on a domain – I will get there in the future and be able to export to a new installation. Since my day job often involved systems configurations, the chance not to have to install the plugins etc. was a relief. However, I KNOW I will want my own domain and be out from under the constraints of the mass provider. But I also am one who believes not everyone will be able or want a domain of their own so this journey will help in my understanding how others can accomplish similar success within a hosted service.

EMBEDDING – Flickr did not embed at first.Solicited help from the ds106 community and got some ideas, mostly what I had already tried – but they did spur me to think differently and kept me focused on finding an answer. Turned out to be a default setting (?) under Permissions/Privacy in which the option “Hide from 3rd parth and API search engines…..” was selected. So when would go out for the embed, it couldn’t find the picture and would leave it as a text link that had to be clicked. Problem solved and working now. Cool beans!

ASSIGNMENTS: GIF – Say it like Peanut Butter: This was an assignment and actually became fun after I got started. I can now see why it becomes addictive.You can read the blow by blow details if you like for these 3 different Wonderful Life GIFs. I went from not a clue to using some wysisyg tools as well as started explore Photoshop and other tools for creation.  sayitlikepb I think the power of being able to use this method with an actual message or is the full implementation. It is also one of those things that takes time and the output_ThglMAbetter it is, the longer it will take and the less noticed the actual process is and more importantly the message is conveyed. When I get to the point of hitting the message strong and no one commenting on the techniques or tech of the gif I know I will have arrived.Still working on the animated GIF concept and trying a GIF Fight – which will probably be a hangover into the next unit.

Gardner Videos: At this point as an open course participant I am opting out of a fully written analysis and reflection of the Gardner videos and bags of gold. I did enjoy the videos, but at an hour plus each, as entertaining as he is, I drifted. Some of that was time of day I was viewing and also because his message was not new to me. It was validating and good to hear his delivery. Some of the other participant reflections I read were spot on and had me cheering. The downside was it reminded me so much of work and getting people on board in their enlightenment and understanding of personal cyber infrastructure. At this point in time, I am focused on implementing the process and the thoughts rather than creating the band wagon to get others on it. The mood will eventually strike me and I will most likely reflect and post at a later date under Chasing Shiny Objects.

NOIR: I think some of my distraction from the Gardner videos were the posts and tweets around NOIR. The instructor sections are taking ds106 thru noir and sounded much more interesting at the moment than the videos. I probably won’t go down a full noir path – but sampling and taking on some of those activities in place of the ones in the headless course may show up. The characters students are creating are fantastic! I read some of the background and am trying to learn about noir.

Daily Create:  IMG_1555Thank you #noirds106 sections, #ds106 and #4life participants! Following the parallel activity of the 3 sections ramps up the energy for learner independence of an open course track. You automatically have travelers with you on the journey. Seeing the instructors post for students and watch as they create and figure things out as one class in their busy schedules and life is such a boost. The creativity and innovations, views and discoveries coupled with seeing it all thru diverse lenses of individuals from all stops on the path of life. I am fortunate to have embarked at this time. You guys rock! The other community section consists of those who have passion for this journey and could bleed ds106 – another great resource. The diverse nature of the community adds significant energy to the creative juices and the support to push the sides of the box out of the way and take chances.

How does this relate to Daily Create? Well – the instructor lead sections are working for points and they have to do a daily create – DAILY. Yeah – how about that?

My muses for some of the challenges were Janelle Pierangelino at the Original and Only Janelle Pierangelino and Mia Boleis at What’s Up Mia? in the instructor led sections. 

Cat on a Synthesizer in Space


Some of My Daily Creates

Framedflage - tdc1108

Groove Space Feline

Full reflections and details are on the Daily Create section

So – How do I feel about #ds106 after unit 2? – For being January in Wisconsin I am feeling absolutely fabulous about #ds106. I don’t know if it is New Year organization tendencies or what – but I am welcoming the efforts needed to tackle things. There is frustration, feeling overwhelmed, feeling less than adequate. There is also energy in accomplishing tasks and seeing a thought come to life in a creation. Mostly there is this connectedness and energy of meeting new people without really meeting them and catching their energy. It brings warmth to the heart and soul to see creating and connecting and especially the unconditional support of each other without any previous relationships.

Keep it up #ds106 ers! Love it! Embrace it! Fail forward! I’m along for the ride and looking forward to it.

ds106 Bootcamp Unit 1: The game has started!

Wow – I have taken the leap and started DS106! I have been wanting to do this for a few years now, but work and family and life was heavy and each time I got close to starting I procrastinated and found a reason not to become involved. What a mistake!

In this first unit I have been welcomed by others – rather quickly – which has been comforting and unnerving at the same time. There is no standing in the back of the room and observing once you add that hashtag to anything you do. The great thing is, this community is welcoming and accepting. The underlying value is respect and that everyone is good at something and everyone stinks at things too. If you don’t share it all, you don’t grow. And as long as you are not doing anything to hurt someone else – try it – you may surprise yourself.

As I watched the videos in the unit, they were a good reminder of many of the things I believe. Art – make it damn it! My background is that I studied to be an art teacher/art therapist in my undergrad program because there was an over abundance of elementary school teachers. I had no classes in high school, no actual art making experience before I entered the program, but they took me anyways as it was new and they needed some students. I was surrounded by “artists” but I didn’t let it get to me. Instead I submersed myself in the community and didn’t worry that my art was not at polished as others. By my senior exhibit my professor who needed to label everyone’s style determined that my art was in line with children and mad men. I wore it as a badge of honor!


  • #1 Don’t do it for the money or you won’t have anything.
  • #2 If you wait for perfection you will not be successful. Make mistakes, lots of them, and fail forward.
  • #3 READ everything you can get your hands on! Love this – but I am still a scanner – not one to read complete novels. Lost that in my graduate studies in not being able to stick with one thing if it was long. But in this nugget I read a Fast Company article that totally describes what I think every collaborative team should have and why learning is important – plus seems to fit this journey well:



Advice from previous students: 

While most of the advice I read, watched, listened to, was from students in a traditional semester experience it was validating to hear that at times this will feel like lots of work, but staying on course and keeping calm, challenging ones self to establish some habits it becomes easier. Learning is practice. If we don’t practice and practice often it will always be overwhelming. Keeping goals attainable and building upon them. And most of all – ask questions, pay forward, stay calm, and create!

A common piece of advice was to remember to do these summaries and to do them as you are working – not at the last minute. Journaling has never been a strong suit of mine and one I hope to polish during this journey for it to become habit and hopefully learn to be more succinct for myself and any readers as the units move on.

My Accounts:

I actually found I had accounts in many of these places but have not connected or in some cases not used at all! DS106 I can see already is providing me a framework for establishing a presentable way for me to connect and maximize the many attributes of the accounts for creation and communication. Focus and direction to establish a strong foundation in which I can take to the places my mind has visioned. So chasing shiny objects, but with results!

Me and hubby taking selfies for my niece’s 18th birthday video.

 Who am I? My About Page

What did I learn in this Bootcamp 1 Unit?:

I learned I have learned things in my journey that I have not used to create art. Many digital tools I have explored as part of helping others get started and they did the creating. Now it is my turn to use to create instead of to support the technical side or to only be the muse or encourager. I think if I would have been able to figure this out and have focus, many things could have been different. So mistake one – no regrets – move forward.

The hard part of this unit was in sticking with it and not jumping ahead or doing things part way. Also not to wait for perfection or the perfect prompt. I am learning that feeling uncomfortable is okay and means something is happening that could be good – I just don’t know it yet.

I don’t have direct questions yet. Well maybe – How the hell did you get this organized and so on target that it is still creating the energy it does after its initial run? There is the element of sustainability and scaling and it seems to be part of this? There are lessons here that can apply to other work people do.

What do I dread? – not sure yet – taking everything so far as looking up and not at my shoes.

Still have another Daily Create to accomplish to reach 3 for this unit. I have to admit – these are intimidating. It reminds me of Daily Shoot. Sometimes the prompt connects immediately, sometimes it doesn’t bring any thoughts to mind, sometimes it brings to many ideas! I did look at the submissions of others- that was even more overwhelming until I realized some take it beyond the quick create and turn it into an actual assignment instead of just getting the creative juices flowing. As I am in Open DS106 I may go back to past Daily Create prompts and make attempts in order to establish a closer to daily habit. The real time prompts will be better for community building, but also could be a show stopper until I have wider variety of modalities in my practice bag.

Here are my first two. (or use the nav to Daily Create Section)

IMG_8901 Daily Create