Archive for the 'announcements' Category

Feedback on assignment 2

One key problem with lots of the project proposals was a differentiation between your goals as site creator, and the kind of experiences you wished to provide to your users. Make clear in each section the whose goals you are attempting to meet in each section of the plan.

Similarly, there was a lot of talk of technologies that can be used without a motivation as to why to use them. Google maps visualisations might be cool or whatever, but there is also a real need to justify why to use it other than that “it is there”. There has to be some value add to your aesthetic or commercial goal to motivate using it.

Prioritise! The bulk of proposals were for project far more ambitious than could be delivered in the timeframe. That’s fine, but make sure that you are clear on the priority of your goals, and that you have a plausible fallback plan in the face of (inevitable) difficulties.

Finally, a project proposal is a pitch document. Make sure that you are aware of its need to be persuasive and to present your idea as worth investing time in. Don’t get bogged down in the technologies you will use any more than necessary  – they might be how you will implement them ,but they aren’t what makes your project worth doing.

Now, one final some resource that springs to mind from reading the assessments: The form generation tool that google provides – that dumps data straight into a google spreadsheet for you to use, mashup-style. I think that would be really handy for a number of you getting punter surveys created.


Feedback on assignment 1

The first assignment, our basic hypertext one had a few issues that came up pretty often, so I’m covering them here.

hypertext as an idea

This assignment was by its description very focussed on the idea of text, and what hypertext means, and a few folks has trouble distinguishing the idea of hypertext from the idea of graphic design. I recommend diving back into the history of this stuff and work out what is going on with hypertext as an idea, and where it has come from. e.g. the original proposal for the WWW, Doug Engelbart’s 1968 demo of some of the ideas in embryonic form , or even Vannevar Bush’s 1945 techno-utopian screed on technological knowledge diffusion which is credited with spawning lots of these ideas. Or you might want to expand on the list of media-art specific readings that I gave you – the media art history conference re:live has their archives online, and there is reams of hypertext-oriented material in there. Or you might want to look at some alternative vision of what hypertext could be, e.g: hypertextopia.

progressive enhancement

image courtesy AListApart

Continue reading ‘Feedback on assignment 1’

Assessment #3 – Final Web Project

Exam Dreams

Let’s take a moment to refresh ourselves from the course outline: Continue reading ‘Assessment #3 – Final Web Project’

A quick look behind the curtain

what makes it go

So, we’re going to dive into dreamhost, which is the essentially arbitrary webhost we chose for this project.

You will each have been given, soon enough, a dizzying number of “FTP usernames”, “shell useranmes”, “MySQL usernames” and “Account usernames”. It’s annoying how many usernames we had to dole out. But don’t panic if you don’t know what they all mean. The key one to remember is your Account username. If you keep that one, you can log in an out of the control panel (which is here: and from there you can create and change all types of other users… most importantly SFTP users, which are the usernames that actually do all the work (the ones you use to upload files, for example). You can also do other fun stuff like managing the sites you are hosting and the databases you ahve and all kinds of stuff like that. So keep the account username and password, and then you can use it to reset all the other ones. Continue reading ‘A quick look behind the curtain’

Assessment #2 – Project proposal

Bamboo Scaffolding, Cambodia
As per our last lecture, I’m putting the assessment up. If you have comments that might be of relevance to the rest of the class feel free to post them here!

From our esteemed course guide.:

Task: Students must produce a proposal for their web project incorporating the following components:

  1. A 1,000 word synopsis outlining what the student is planning to develop within this subject for their website project, which includes a clear description of the underlying motivation of the piece, the intended user experience, and the intended target audience.
  2. A navigational diagram or flowchart, which clearly demonstrates the navigational pathways of the project.

Assessment criteria:

  1. Demonstration engagement with the subject of emerging cultural practices within internet spaces
  2. Demonstration of ability to develop an idea into a concept and project plan
  3. Demonstration of the ability to plan and organise work schedule.

Continue reading ‘Assessment #2 – Project proposal’

What’s next?

Over the last week I’ve got emails from students telling me the course it going to fast, other ones telling me that the class is going too slow. I have had one student tell me that the course is too commercial, and one tell me that it’s not commercial enough, and a couple of people asking about how far behind the schedule we are with the course program. Accordingly I’m going to dedicate the first portion of the class this week discussing course content with the class. Bring your questions, your suggestions, and your willingness to speak along!

Assessment #1


For this first assessment , your task will be to enhance a text using hypertext techniques. That is, to take a bit of plain old english text, and use the techniques we’ve learnt in class thus far to make it more engaging, more informative – or just plain prettier. Annotate it with links, add javascript animations, have extra information appear when you mouseover – or illustrate it with diagrams. You can be as creative or as simple as you want with this one. Continue reading ‘Assessment #1’


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