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[Cross-posted] The conundrum of public creation

In the first blog post for our Travelogue: Mapping Literary History project “Welcome to Travelogue” written by our great Project Manager Sarah, she talked about the excitement the group felt at embarking on this project and our eagerness to learn new things and to create a great digital project. She was speaking the truth; we are all excited about working on this project.

For me, as the web site developer, the first thing I had the opportunity to learn was WordPress. The idea was that I would create a meta-blog site and the whole group would use the site to blog and post about the process we were all going through to create out project, “Travelogue – Mapping Literary History”. The process of creating this meta-blog site would give me the opportunity and a place where I could learn and play with WordPress so that when I had to create the official web site for our actual public project, I’d be comfortable and familiar with the CMS.

In her post Sarah also referenced a post I had written for our Fall 2013 Digital Praxis seminar, where I talked about not being afraid to fail. While I wrote about not worrying about failing and how the process itself of learning and trying new things was a success, whether the project failed or not, I must admit that while that may sound good, in reality it is hard to live that philosophy. I was afraid to fail, I was afraid to create a site which would be less than and to do it in public no less is not easy. It is not easy working and creating “in public” (a phrase our professor Matt Gold likes to use). It is not easy to talk about your worries and concerns in public. In my work life I’ve worked where you don’t show the process to the public, just the results. You know, you don’t want to see sausage being made; you just want to eat the sausage. I had to keep reminding myself that part of this class and project was actually doing a good portion of our work in public and letting the public see what we were doing, the difficulties we were having, along with our successes. Stay tuned for my next post where I will write about some of my failures and successes so far in creating these 2 sites and what I’ve learned so far working on this group project.