This might be my most informal reflection. Sorry guys. The past week and next week will be revising the content to my site, adding sources, and providing 1-2 more sections to finish up the project. To answer Suzanne’s question on my last reflection (“Did Zun’s question have any effect on you?”), I think it did and I’ll look for ways to incorporate my role as fashion activist and enthusiast into the project.
I own one pair of Patagonia shorts. I have a fleece jacket coming in that I plan on re-selling (it’s a side gig and it’s besides the point… or is it?) Zun’s question really had me thinking about my role in all this. I talk about how Patagonia is perceived as a brand full of posers: wall-street finance bros, upper-middle class suburban moms, and fleece wearing frat bros. I talk about how the brand is more than that and that it is dedicated to the environment and is made for hikers, adventurers, and explorers.
But that’s not the majority demographic. I own a pair of shorts and I go hiking maybe 3 times a year. I’m not an outdoorsman. I doubt the majority of kids even on this campus wearing Patagonia goes climbing, biking, or do environmentally conscious actions every other day. I buy and resell clothes as a side job. Without this demographic of suburban “posers”, I wouldn’t be able to flip that fleece jacket for a profit (vintage Patagonia fleece is SO IN right now for whatever reason). Am I a poser for making this project even though I am only marginally more environmentally conscious in regards to fashion? Or does my awareness of Patagonia’s mission and overall outlook negate this?
This week has been incredibly productive for me thanks to social media feedback and class reviews. I scrapped my minimalist site and went for a more modern approach. I removed the TimeLine Express plug-in because it was incredibly clunky, unattractive, limiting, and would have required a lot of CSS work to fix. I am incredibly happy with how Knight Lab’s Timeline worked out, although I have not finished the timeline yet. It’s next on the checklist for this week! The embedding feature and external spreadsheet is a wonderful element to the site as it doesn’t require a plug-in or use up space on WordPress.
More information recently came out on Patagonia’s stance against corporations without charity initiatives which I think is good source material for my argument. I was wondering if it was okay that I had so many news outlet-based sources as a lot of Patagonia’s major moves within the past several years are not noted in academic sources.
I had a good talk with Suzanne on Wednesday about the direction of my project. I’m currently in the process of revising my literary review which will also reflect changes made on prototype 2. Previously, my argument was trying to bring in too many factors as Sundi stated on one of my post. My previous reflections were on narrowing down what I can do with my subject, but now that I have one subject I’ll have to do better at condensing my sources into a meaningful pool of information.
My argument / angle will be: Patagonia differs from existing brand through its long history of environmentally sustainable practices which contrasts with modern fast fashion. I will clearly define “green marketing” and reference the instances within recent years and consolidate my sources to prove Patagonia’s effectiveness in influencing the industry. My timeline approach, as stated in my last prototype, is somewhat lackluster and I’m going to need to re-evaluate what I want from the site. One idea is an infinite scrolling site (with a navigation bar for easy jumps to each section) and add custom CSS in order to clean up the text. I’m continuing to work on CSS and watching tutorials on WordPress Plugins. I think our talk with John-Michael really made me want to do something a bit more animate with CSS.
This week was another week of reanalyzing and realistically trying to realize my project (I didn’t plan the alliteration). The critique I had gotten last time was that my site would be almost too simplistic. Of course, now that my project has changed, it would make sense for the wireframe and media outreach to change as well. For my wireframe, I think that a much more detailed timeline with overlaying information is needed. The audience must get the general idea and the history before they can understand the movements that Patagonia is making currently. Audio-visual information is much more memorable than chunks of text so I want to incorporate videos into my site without it appearing too cluttered. I’m thinking of creating a timeline that follows a mountain outline (how difficult would that be?) to mirror Patagonia’s logo.
My media outreach plan is working better than I expected (and not from Reddit!). Just following a few wildlife corporation and nature photographers, I have already gained a few followers solely because I am following some people that they are also interested in. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more environmentally conscious subreddits (or perhaps r/DataIsBeautiful) in the near future.
Over the past week, I have used Google Scholar a lot to find specific secondary articles for my project on Patagonia. Because of their transparency and open message about their ideals, I was able to find a number of articles related directly to Patagonia and scholars who have used Patagonia’s mission in relation to wider sociological approaches. I think that the mapping exercises that we have been doing in class has really opened my eyes to how my sources relate to each other. As I want my project to be a sort of timeline of how Patagonia’s green movement has solidified their spot in the fashion industry over the years, I think it is important to get multiple perspective.
I was able to divide my sources into: primary interviews directly with head directors of Patagonia, newspaper articles, scholarly articles that discuss the symbolism and history of Patagonia, and analysis articles which highlights Patagonia’s connection to broader ideas such as brand loyalty, consumerism, and impact on green fashion. I think I would like to use the historical aspect as a framework for the project to allow the audience to learn more about the brand before getting into their environmental and political endeavors.
All of the received feedback on my project and wireframe shared a single theme: I need to narrow my scope. Initially, I planned to have a very generalized timeline of men’s fashion, but I realized that the wider I go, the shallower I’ll dive and I won’t be satisfied with what I have in three weeks.
My discussion with the group and CIS meeting gave me a different perspective on my project and helped me centralize on one theme. As of right now some options are: focus on an Instagram influencer and their relation to masculine marketing and masculinity in hip-hop throughout the 2000s. I’m still very interested in doing the timeline, however I decided to steer clear of the analytic side.
Our classes this week really made me think about the implementation of some of the features I want to have my project. During our in-class critique and website analysis, I was able to narrow things down and cut off certain aspects of the site. I was surprised to see a timeline Flash project that worked fairly well despite its dated program. From there, I realized that I wanted to create something similar, but more modern.
The buttons would be limited, the timeline would be interactive, and most importantly, I don’t want people to think about how to use it. I’m excited to get more into the sources and citation aspect of the course as well. As of right now, my main goal is to figure out how to implement that timeline if it is not a readily available theme.
I joined this course in order to develop my skills in data visualization, user experience design, and have a better understanding of digital humanities. So far, it has been incredibly interesting to see examples of beautiful visual storytelling such as Koya Bound and Snowfall. In terms of digital humanities, I definitely lean on the side that digital archival and design of data is necessary and valuable for the future.
I am a Digital Studies major with a focus on digital media. Currently, I am researching and planning my capstone project which will investigate the influences on personal identity through digital marketplaces and social media platforms. Through the growth of social media and online forums, it is only natural that the development of identity can be affected by digital factors. During this research, I will conduct interviews, analyze data from online marketplaces, and track the growth of companies. I want to be able to utilize the skills that I have learned so far into making a meaningful project which also has a beautiful, efficient design.