This is the first time I have seriously blogged. Back in secondary school, my Caribbean Studies teacher made us create a Gmail account and told us to post an essay on Blogger which is why I have a Gmail account now. Blogger was easy. We just had to sign up and join the group that Mrs. McCall (our Caribbean Studies teacher) had set up to post our essays.
Now four years later, another teacher has us join a blogging platform and form an account. This is a more complicated platform than Blogger, though. For WordPress, there is a variety of themes you can choose to display your blog as well as widgets and links and a whole lot of stuff that I still can’t understand. I chose this Ryu theme because the description said that it was simple. It displays the blog posts and not much else. Well that was fine with me. I didn’t need a lot of fancy things. I am not digitally competent after all. The colour is purple because that is my favourite colour.
Besides my digital incompetence, there was the matter of regularly updating this blog. As you can see, going back through my entries, I did a poor job of that. I spend a lot of time reading but I don’t write. I have had to practise writing on the computer in a regular fashion which is why I am now going to produce blog posts regularly. The purpose of this blog is still my journey through DITA, though I will add other things as they occur to me.
In the first post I added to this blog, I gave a brief overview of the module. I can now expand on that. Digital information technologies refer to the software applications used on the Web. However, before we started lessons on the applications used, we had an overview of the history of computing and how the Internet started. It started with a group of people who figured out how to connect machines together. The idea really exploded when Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. Now not only could machines ‘talk’ to each other, there was one standard so any machine, as long as it operated on that standard could ‘talk’ to any other machine on the Web. This greatly increased capabilities of computers. Now that a large number of computers could be connected, commercial interests could be satisfied. An increase in commercial interest led to an increase in consumers. An increase in consumers led to an increase in development and so on.
Digital architecture refers to the overlying structure of the Web. Just as architects are called in before you build your house, information architects are there to help you before you build your ‘information house’- your website. These architects have a keen understanding of the interactions on the Web as well as knowledge to use the software applications to the fullest. For this module, we looked at different parts of the website- the programming languages in particular. We also practised using some applications that are most useful to researchers.
Librarians are the guardians of information. Since, much of that information is now digital, it is imperative that librarians learn to harness these technologies.