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Sorya Baxter

My name is Sorya

Final Project Responsibilities

For the final project, I am responsible for the campus support section. This section is covering people that are helpful to contact for more information on classes and the department and any other issues. We also talk about the helpful tech workshops that the department holds and information on the IT department and HelpDesk sources. Chrys and I have basically all of the copy done with links to available recordings for the workshops and contact information for the faculty we listed. We also talk a bit about the main computer labs that are available and the benefits of the library.

I will probably be working on the coding of the book if the group is ready to go on to that.

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DTC Handbook

For the final publication, The DTC Handbook, I am working on the campus/support section. I am currently gathering information on what resources are available on campus for students. This includes any workshops that are held on campus and the contact info for faculty and departments that help students. My other role will also be web developer, so I will be working with Chrys to do the copy editing and coding of our section.

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Marshall’s Media Madness

For our multimodal project, we described Marshall McLuhan’s Medium Theory. Explained were the developments through time of sound to speech to written language.  My main role was a web developer for this project. I implemented the fonts that Kevin provided throughout the site. I also placed in images for each section and did some styling. I coded most of the media queries so the site is responsive as well.

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Design for Multimodal

My group’s multimodal project is heavily visual and audio based with text to explain these sections. The visuals themselves need to be designed in an engaging way, but making the text visually engaging is equally as important.

We can utilize typography, colors, and visuals for our multimodal project. Typography hierarchy “enhances the readability and usability of your content” (Oxford Digital). It will be essential for us to use different font sizes so certain information is marked as more important. This will be achieved using headers and subheaders to label which section is being shown. Font weight can also be important. In some instances, it will be appropriate to bold or italicize some words. It’s important to use these sparingly, because “they are tools for emphasis… if everything is emphasized, then nothing is emphasized” (Butterick). Other than font size and weight, we also might include different font families for headings versus paragraph text. This will make the text more visually interesting and help viewers distinguish what is a header and what is the main body text.

This project will be heavily visual with text to invoke deeper concentration, but the images and animations will tell most of the story. These visuals will most likely take up the whole page at one time and then when you scroll, text and more information will appear. The images and animations we use will tell the story first, and the text will be more in-depth and give a clearer explanation. Although we already have images to separate sections and text, we can use colors to emphasize certain words or indicate importance.

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Psychology in Seattle Podcast

I do not listen to many podcasts, but one that I have consistently found interesting is Psychology in Seattle. Dr. Kirk Honda is a psychotherapist and professor based in Seattle who hosts the podcast/Youtube channel. I find reality television entertaining, so what drew me to Dr. Honda’s channel is that he reviews reality television shows and gives his opinion on the people in the shows and situations.

Reality television is known for being very dramatic, so the concept of a therapist reviewing these somewhat outrageous shows drew me to his channel. I usually watch/listen while I am drawing when I do not have to deeply concentrate on something.

I think that his channel is effective because he discusses a topic that many people share an interest in while giving educational insight. He doesn’t dramatically change the format of his videos or set up from video to video, so it’s familiar and comfortable each time. It’s a simple setup in his home where he is just sitting in front of a camera, which makes the experience comfortable and entertaining.

I think that podcasts and audio-based videos are very useful, especially with people now being more multi taskers. Many people may not have the time to sit and watch something for a few hours, but they can enjoy listening to something entertaining while doing something else. This is an effective publishing format because it is convenient for those who listen to things. It’s easy to just put something on in the car without taking your attention off of the road, and you are still entertained. While cleaning or running errands it provides an easy way to keep people connected to their interests.

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Design and Content of Multimodal Project

“To understand something, is to understand the structure of which it is a part and/or the elements
forming the structure that that something is.
A book consists of various elements, one of which might be a text” (Carrion, 5).

For my group’s multimodal project, we want to put an emphasis on how language and text developed. All stages of this process have a connection and there is a reason why sound progressed to language, which progressed to the alphabet and writing. The quote above reminds me of this process and how every element has a structure. The structures and elements are all connected in some way or another.

While the reading focuses on book and text, our project will incorporate what came before that, acoustic and speech space. Our project will of course use text to relay our information, but it will also incorporate moving visuals and sound. A combination of sound, speech, visuals, and text will work together with our design to portray the information. Just like how these elements work together, the spaces we will be talking about work with one another. Each space leads to another, and there are elements in each that relate to each other. Acoustic space relates to speech because of the sounds people make to speak. The alphabet relates to acoustic because it is the sounds of words written out. Putting the alphabet together creates writing, and using sound with writing creates speech. The design of our project should also reflect this concept, with elements all connecting to each other.

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Screen Reading Impacting Attention

To me, screen reading does include multimedia aspects and hyperlinks. Much of the reading or research I do for school involves web searches and interactivity. If I were to read a Wikipedia webpage, I expect to see the blue hyperlinks that I can click on to learn more about other topics. While these are what I am used to and having more information accessible at a click is convenient, it can also lead me down a rabbit hole of information. This can cause a distraction and lead me away from my initial research. With a traditional book, I would have no choice but to continue reading the content on the pages because there is no opportunity for me to go to a different course.

With mobile and web reading, I find myself wanting a quick read compared to reading something with 50 pages. A short article that gets straight to the point and gives me all of the information I need so I can continue to something else is what I prefer. In the scholarly text Hyper and Deep Attention: The Generational Divide in Cognitive Modes, author N. Katherine Hayles explains different types of attention. “Hyper attention is characterized by switching focus rapidly among different tasks, preferring multiple information streams, seeking a high level of stimulation, and having a low tolerance for boredom”, while  “deep attention, the cognitive style traditionally associated with the humanities, is characterized by concentrating on a single object for long periods (say, a novel by Dickens), ignoring outside stimuli while so engaged, preferring a single information stream, and having a high tolerance for long focus times” (187). While reading this section, I recognized that I have hyper-attention. There is also mention of having other stimuli while working, such as music, which is familiar to me. I always listen to music while I am working on homework or drawing.

To help me engage with digital books, I think that continuing to have certain words connected to dictionary definitions is helpful. It saves time so rather than going to look up the word, it is an easy click. This also pushes me to learn to look at definitions because there aren’t multiple steps. Having links to other parts of the book is helpful as well. In the table of contents, I prefer to be able to click on what chapter I need to go to.

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Mini Essay: A Breakthrough in Book Technology!

While surfing the internet, as one does, I came across this invention that will hopefully be a breakthrough in book technology! 

As you can see, it looks like an ordinary book from years ago, but what’s exciting is that all the pages are very thin screens that show text and images! It’s taken many years to develop screens thin, flexible, and durable enough to somewhat imitate paper pages. These new high-tech pages emit a soft glowing light, doing reading at night or in dimly lit places easy. The pages can’t be folded or dog-ears like people can do with paper pages, though. 

To get the content onto the pages, there is a small slot in the spine to insert a memory card. You must first go online and download the book you want from a special website. This website holds all of the files of published books that work with this new digital book. Just like regular e-books, you must pay a small fee to access the content. This is how authors can get paid for publishing this way! Once the memory card is inserted into the spine, the pages will illuminate and you are ready to read the book you chose. If you prefer to not use a memory card, there is also a USB port so you can connect your book directly to whatever device you choose and get the content that way. It seems like since this is a very early form, it doesn’t quite have direct internet access yet.

I have always wanted something that gave me the same experience as a paper book but enhanced my experience, so this announcement was very exciting to me. I wanted to still feel the hardcover and flip pages but somehow access the content easier. Keeping the book’s integrity is what is most important to me. Amaranth Borsuk states in her writing “The Book” that digital interfaces that allow people to read digitally borrow physical book structures, but remediate them in the digital environment. The content and functionality mimic reading a real book, but the actual physical form is not very codex-like (122-123). Electronic books allow you to bookmark, annotate, and flip back and forth between “pages”, but it will never be the same experience as a physical book with paper pages. 

There was always the convenience of being able to easily download an electronic book onto my computer, phone, or tablet for school or entertainment. It was as easy as opening an app, typing in a title, and downloading. Within seconds, I could have a “book” in my hands. This saved me the trouble of going to the library or bookstore. Instead of walking through the aisles filled to the top with books, I was now scrolling through a digital library of books. The spines of books with just the name and author on a shelf that you had to pull out to learn more were no more, instead replaces with the digital covers I could easily tap on. No longer asking a librarian or bookstore employee for book recommendations, I was now consulting my favorite search engine and stranger’s reviews. Electronic books were also cost-efficient when I was in college, being significantly cheaper than going to the bookstore and buying one. I could easily pull up the book on my iPad that I carried around with me every day, lessening the load on my back as well as not having to carry multiple textbooks. Everything I needed for my classes was now accessible to me with just one device, and I still had most of the same functions as if I was carrying around physical books. I could write notes, bookmark pages I wanted to go back to, highlight sections I found were important, and flip pages (assisted with the page flipping animations). 

Although having electronic books on my digital devices was convenient and cheaper, I still always found myself wishing I had the physical version of the book. There was just something different about feeling the paper pages and reading text that was not on a flat screen. Even the book I referenced earlier that is all about the history of books and their structure is downloaded onto a digital device for me to read. I wonder how my reading experience would differ if I had the real cover, paper pages, and could put slips of paper in between the pages so I could go back to certain passages. 

This breakthrough in book technology is incredibly exciting. Of course, it is still in the very early stages so there is much more development to happen which also brings many questions to my mind. The following sections of writing are a mixture of questions about the design and interface and some things that I would like to see implemented. 


In the information I read, it said that both text and images can be displayed on these pages. Thinking of other books and writing published online, the internet allows for video and sound as well. I would be interested to see if sound and moving images could be implemented onto these screens/pages.


If the blank codex only has 150 pages but the content you are plugging in has 200 pages, how will that be displayed? Just like with electronic books, there should be an option to increase or decrease the text size. This would also change the page formatting, and possibly make a 150-page book turn into 175 pages. What if I want to enlarge a picture? Should there be multiple different sizes of these books just like traditional books to accommodate for different sizes? 

If there are multiple different sizes of books, or people just want to own multiple of these books, there should be a way to identify which content is in what book. With a screen on the spine that displays the title and author, when stored on a bookshelf you could easily identify which book is which. 

Having multiple sizes of books will somewhat solve the formatting and accessibility question, but it will also allow readers to continue to have the experience they have with paper books. Bookshelves will still be filled, just filled with these new types of books.

Annotating and Interacting

You obviously would not want to dog-ear one of these pages because it might ruin the screen. Will there be a built-in bookmarking method similar to electronic readers? Some people may prefer this method of bookmarking compared to the traditional sticky note, colorful paper, or corner of a random document you may have near you.

With annotating, you obviously would not want any paper or pencil near these pages. I use an iPad with Apple Pencil to write notes and annotate on electronic books. I wonder if a stylist could be incorporated to allow readers to annotate similarly. This could be stored in the spine of the book, slipping into a storage area similar to how there is a spot in a DS for the DS stylist. Having the annotations be added to the content of the book allows for future review. If I were to annotate a book and then switch to another book, I would hope that when I go back to the original book my notes would still be there.

Energy Source

Technology like this will need a way to power it. With the covers being somewhat thin like a book you could pick up in the library or bookstore, where would the power source/battery be stored? It seems like the only place where it wouldn’t stick out much and it would be protected in the spine. Making this book rechargeable will also be an essential characteristic. Since the pages/screens are displaying information already, there could be a small icon either on the spine or the top of a page, similar to a phone, that displays the battery percentage. Thinking of phones, tablets, and laptops, all you need to do is plug a cord into them and they will charge. Following this same concept, just like how the book has an area to connect a cord to a computer to access content, this port can be used for charging. 

Libraries and Bookstores

I wonder what will happen to libraries if this new type of digital book becomes popular…If people can have a blank codex and just plug in what book they want to read, going somewhere to check out a book will not be needed anymore. Of course, many people will still prefer the original experience of reading a paper book, but the demand will significantly decrease. Many find the convenience of digital books more appealing with their busy lives consumed with technology. 

Will bookstores slowly switch to tech stores that sell this technology rather than a place that sells paper books? Perhaps bookstores and libraries will become a place where you can access this content from a database, rather than buying the content at home. 

I am excited to see the next developments in this invention and I am sure most of my questions will be answered when more information is released. 

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Project Gutenberg Spooky Stories

The Waste Land by T. S. Elliot – I. The Burial of the Dead


A collection of poems about emotions and life after World War I. The first section I chose, called The Burial of the Dead, is about sorrow and numbness, not wanting to look back on memories. The speaker eventually meets with a famous fortune teller who pulls tarot cards for them. There is continued talk of being soulless, not much emotion, and being glum. Not necessarily about Halloween, but I thought this one fit the mood and color of spooky and dark.

The Stoneground Ghost Tales by E. G. Swain- Bone To His Bone


The Stoneground Ghost Tales is a collection of ghost stories written about the main character named Mr. Batchel. In the selection I chose, the beginning talks of a man named William Whitehead, who came to a church and enjoyed spending time in the study with books before his death. Mr. Batchel now resides at this church and his bedroom is next to this library. Guests had said they heard noises coming from the library at one or two am thinking it was Mr. Batchel when it indeed was not him. Mr. Batchel goes to the library to read one night when he is unable to sleep when supernatural things begin to happen. A knock on a desk and an open book appear when no one else is in the room with him. After reading the open pages of the book, Mr. Batchel takes a walk outside to the garden where he begins to dig. After a few spoonfuls of soil, he finds a human bone. When he goes back into the library, the book is magically back in its place on the shelf.

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Post-Artifact Systems

Craig Mod explains Post-Artifact Systems as the space where one engages with the artifact through reading, marginalia, and other readers. Mod explains that this system is one “that transforms the book from isolated vessel for text into a shared interface.” With books, this can be highlighting sections or writing down notes in the margins. Beyond books, online platforms and services allow readers to share their thoughts, creating a more collaborative space. Digital books allow highlighting, annotating, and jotting down notes within the program. The author talks about the ability to export these notes and highlights to share with others or allow access to a community’s notes.

Growing up with the web as a primary source of information and entertainment, there have always been opportunities for collaboration. Watching Youtube videos, there is a comment section. Now there is also the community page where content creators can post to their board and people can comment or vote in a poll. Getting digital books for classes, there is always an option to highlight within the program and add notes for future use. Thinking of social media as well, the main point of posting is engagement and interaction. You can follow people, share posts both privately and publically, comment, and repost. These collaborative spaces are multimedia, combining sound, text, pictures, and videos. These are all good collaborative opportunities for content creators to improve their work in real-time and the future. There is also the factor of always having an immense amount of information at our fingertips at every moment. It only takes a few seconds to look up a question and receive the answer you’re looking for. With this comes more time for collaboration and interaction with the information and community rather than searching for information.


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The Future of Digital Books and Publishing

“Text’s digital life untethers it from specific material support, making it accessible through a variety of interfaces (including the computer, cell phone, tablet, and dedicated e-reader), each of which influences our reading” (Borsuk, 124).

As publishing and books progressed to being more digitalized, the experience of reading these writings has also changed. I think this is a big reason for many writers choosing to publish their work digitally. Publishing digitally allows for more multimedia elements and room to experiment. There is a combination of sound, text, and pictures all in one. This form of publishing takes books to another level, further expanding their format and allowing a more diverse audience.

Thinking of the documentary we watched in class, the artists and writers featured showed their work at a convention. This helped them network and expand on their work. Of course, experiencing their books in the physical way they produced them is a specific experience, but I couldn’t help to wonder how the experience would change if it were to be published online. As the quote from the reading suggests, depending on the interface and how we are reading, our experience will vary. With the introduction of sound in online literature, either reading the words to you or sound effects that add on to the text, another sense of being triggered. This can change the course of how we interpret the words we are reading.

In the future, I don’t think that people will fully switch to digitally publishing. Digital publishing can be seen more as a tool to enhance the audience’s experience and allows for more accessibility to a broader range of readers.

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Voices from the Plain of Jars- Favorite Book

I don’t personally own many books, so choosing a favorite out of the ones that are in my possession was a bit difficult. A book that has been on my mind since I got it is Voices from the Plain of Jars, edited by Fred Branfman. This book is a collection of essays and drawings from Laotian villagers who survived bombings during the Vietnam War. I got this book at a workshop held by Legacies of War, IRCO (Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization), and APANO (Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon) about unexploded bombs left in Laos and other Southeast Asian countries. These bombs are called cluster bombs and continue to injure adults and children in these countries. The bombs look similar to balls, so children who do not know the danger try to pick them up resulting in them being killed or seriously injured. The purpose of this workshop and Legacies of War as an organization is to raise awareness about these bombs from people and gain support so these bombs can be removed from the land.

I like this book because it mostly includes drawings and personal essays from survivors to tell the story. The drawings, although not very detailed, show tragedy and pain. The essays talk about sadness and fear. Instead of having a narrator explaining everything that happened, you can read the point of view of the people who survived and witnessed the crimes that happened. All of the survivors featured in this book tell a similar story with their drawings and writing without knowing each other, which shows the impact of the war. The drawings allow visuals so you can see what the survivors witnessed. There is a small foreword that explains the backstory of the war and what happened, along with an epilogue to explain how the bombings and war are still impacting the people who live on this scarred land. There is also an appendix with documents with documentation about the air war that comes from the US side, which also puts these bombings in a different perspective.

This book is a short read, but it is packed with information. It’s a simple design, so the content is what is most exciting and has made the biggest impact on me. The text is not dense and too packed with information that I feel overwhelmed.

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Sorya’s First Post

I am excited to learn more about WordPress and blogging since I have never done this type of publishing before.

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