Simple Text Analysis POC

See the Pen text analysis color viz – step 1 by Tom (@twwoodward) on CodePen. Assuming you have sentences, phrases, or words you’d like to categorize . . . you could do something like this to create a visualization. This one is using CSS but it could be done in any basic word processing software. Setting levels of opacity would allow for multiple-overlapping categorizations. See the Pen text analysis color viz – step 2 by Tom (@twwoodward) on CodePen. Playing with font size and the rotation of the paragraph also opens up some doors . . . as does doing different rotations at the sentence level depending on the categorization of the sentence. You could get even more granular with stuff like that using data attributes and CSS. See the Pen text analysis color viz – step 4 by Tom (@twwoodward) on CodePen. A Bit Odder See the Pen text analysis color viz – step 5 by Tom (@twwoodward) on CodePen.

Annotating a Will: A Digital Process

One of the projects that Ryan Smith chose as part of our Digital History course was the collaborative transcription and annotation of a historic Richmond will . . . describing it thusly1 in the syllabus. Collaborative annotation: To further put our emphasis on collaboration into practice, we will annotate [explain, contextualize, add to] together one document, the last will and testament of Isaac Judah, an early Richmond resident. This assignment will require student research, online or in person, to help explain and contextualize this document for a public audience. What software platform should we use to markup the item? How should we handle the will’s transcription? Who are the parties mentioned in the will? Where are the locations? What historical lessons can it teach readers? The quality and quantity of each students’ research/commentary will count as 10% of the final course grade. The will can be found on our course website, in the Google Drive folder. The transcription file is: Annotations can begin as soon as the course begins and should be finalized by February 23 March 30. If the annotation is fruitful, we may post this result for public consumption. We ended up with quite a bit of work . . . in fact so much work that displaying it via the Google Doc didn’t really work. It […]


Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-04-16

Meet FlexiSpy, The Company Getting Rich Selling ‘Stalkerware’ to Jealous Lovers – Motherboard Internal company data, stolen by a hacker and provided to Motherboard, provides new insight into FlexiSpy, its founder, and the sprawling, predatory consumer spyware market at large. The company grew from its customer base of vindictive spouses, and ended up connecting with firms which sold malware to some of the world’s most oppressive regimes. Build a Better Monster: Morality, Machine Learning, and Mass Surveillance The correct way to play Pac Man, of course, is to consume as much as possible while running from the ghosts that relentlessly pursue you. This was a valuable early lesson in what it means to be an American. It also taught me that technology and ethics aren’t so easy to separate, and that if you want to know how a system works, it helps to follow the money. Juicero CEO Begs You: Do NOT Squeeze Our Juice Bags [Updated] This week saw the latest chapter in the utterly wonderful saga of Juicero, the $400 juice machine maker that attracted $120 million in venture capital funding. On Wednesday, a bombshell Bloomberg report exposed the secret that threatened to ruin the company: You can get almost exactly the same juice without the company’s expensive press by squeezing their damn bags yourself with the hands […]

Random Re-Connection via Twitter

@twoodwar is this the T Woodward I I knew in Cola, SC?!?! I'm still recovering from those suicide kicks! #greengate — auz1111 (@auz1111) April 7, 2017 That is me- back row, partially obscured (and not just by the camo). Pretty wild that John found me somehow and that we’re both involved in WordPress and web design stuff. It led me to look up another guy from that photo and a few seconds later . . . presto. He was even using that same picture as his avatar (because, as it turns out, they had a bet on who could find me on the Internets). Not world shaking but a fun connection to the past (30-ish years ago!) and one that inspired a bit of digital wandering. I’m relatively sure this is my house back in 5th/6th grade but I’m not entirely sure. I mainly identified it by the creek visible in the map view. I probably spent more time there than in the house. That’d definitely the pond where I used to fish and catch baby turtles (something of a family tradition now). I went to E.L. Wright M.S. before we moved to the hell that was 7th grade in Huntsville, Alabama’s creatively-named Huntsville Middle School.

Open Content Creation at VCU

I’m going to hit a few of the things I’ve done with people around open educational resource creation.1 In the discussion, I’m going to ignore some complexities around the term ‘open’ in order to avoiding dragging the whole post down. My personal definition of open is very liberal2 although I can see the value of Wiley’s R framework in a variety of conversations. Once again, I’ll try to move from simpler to more complex options. The Judah Will The Judah Will is a will that was transcribed and annotated in the digital history class this semester. Ryan Smith is the history professor behind the idea and has been more than awesome to work with. Right now the work is all in Google Docs but we’re looking at paths/tools/display options that will better show the research and conversations that occurred. The simple act of transcribing the will is one act of OER creation and active participation in the field of history. The additional research and investigation of the elements of the will constitutes another layer. The majority of students in the class really enjoyed the process and liked the idea that they were adding to the sum of information available to historians. This activity also enabled the professor to model historical research/thought while interacting with the students on a project with […]

Courses in WordPress

In the same vein as my last post,1 WordPress lets you set up courses just about any way you might want. There are some typical patterns people use but there are also a variety of other options that fit individual needs or just make people happy. I’ve done quite a few different scenarios over the last three years so I figured I’d highlight a few structures and some of the things that make them what they are. The sites in general may or may not also have face-to-face components but I’m choosing examples that are more involved than simple syndication sites (aka mother blogs) or sites that focus on particular projects/assignments. Hopefully these examples show the variation faculty have in terms of what they want and in terms of the flexibility that WordPress can provide. In this case, I do believe I’ll be able to move from simplest to more complex/customized. Simple End of the Spectrum These examples mainly organize and display content and aren’t focused on interaction or student publishing. Usually sites like these predominantly use pages and may not use posts at all. They may also turn off comments to simplify management. The page construction fits neatly within more traditional models of web design. Graphic Design History The goal here was to put up a bunch of sequential […]


Gravity Forms – Regular URL for File Upload

I do a fair amount of Gravity Forms to posts. Many times those posts have files, mainly images, associated with them that I’d like to have embedded in the post. Gravity Forms did some changes a while back to prevent people from guessing where files are (which is good) but the secure URL change also made my embed patterns break. Throwing the little line above in a plugin makes things work again (although at the risk of people guessing where other files may reside).

A WordPress Authoring Continuum

Image from page 60 of “Birds of La Plata” (1920) flickr photo by Internet Archive Book Images shared with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons) I often feel much of my life has been spent arguing against binary judgements related to technology.1 I’d like to have neater boundaries and simpler discussions but they always seem to get in the way of what I perceive as reality. I’ve certainly tried to articulate options for content in creation in WordPress before. I tried really hard to have a nice list here that would move you from full-constrained incrementally towards the normal backend editor but the lines kept blurring on me so . . . you get what we have here today . . . which is a failure to delineate, crisply.2 The idea that WordPress authoring is super-easy or needlessly complex is one of those arguments I have repeatedly. I believe, with varying degrees of effort/skills, WordPress authoring is simply what you want it to be. It can be tightly constrained, without even the need for an account or even a visit to the backend of WordPress. It can also be fully open with all the options and complexities you could want. They’re both choices with a fair amount of room in the middle for variations. I’ve found a few plugins and/or design […]