As Pendleton and I began to reflect on the nature, effectiveness, and audience of our project, we began to struggle with how to tie the ideas from class into our Instagram. We wanted to give our followers an insider’s look into D.C., but in the end, the Instagram merely became solely photos of areas of D.C. with captions about our thoughts on the neighborhood, but with no substantial and meaningful information from class. The only logically solution was to change the focus of our project completely in order to more easily connect and identify issues in D.C. that we have discussed in class. We have no shifted our focus to the idea of public transportation in D.C. and how the workers and “travelers” interact, how the workers view the public transportation system, and the nature of interaction between people who are utilizing public transportation. We also feel like public transportation is such a large part of the city and that the workers tend to be overlooked due to their standing in D.C. society, yet they are a vital part of the functionality of the city. We have decided to keep the format of an Instagram in order to still display our pictures, but our captions are going to be purely quotes as a take on the “Humans of New York” instagram. We hope through these quotes that our followers will clearly see some of the ideas that we have talked about in class such as: the city of fact vs. the city of feeling, walking/riding the streets of the city as a tool for place making, gentrification, and social disparities and differences amongst people in the city. Hopefully this project will be more effective and more intriguing for our audience, which still remains outsiders and citizens of D.C., and will give a creative look into the public transportation system of D.C.
Response to Critiques:
Based on the responses that I received there are a few changes that I will make in my approach to the multimedia project. First off, I was faced with the challenge that I could not hyperlink articles in my Instagram posts, so I am going to put a link to my digital scrapbook in the “bio” of the account so that people can read the articles I post there while also pasting the links in the Instagram posts and telling people to copy and paste the link into the internet. Also, the whole idea behind my project was to give my follower’s an insider’s look into the lesser known areas and neighborhoods of D.C., but after starting the project I had not tied the posts to what we were learning in class. I have decided to stop making the posts less based on restaurants and things to do in each of the neighborhoods (while still including that), but also providing information about the people and changes in the neighborhoods, such as gentrification. I think by incorporating more of an analytical perspective, for example talking about the idea of “shedding the past” as Sharon Zukin describes or talking about how walking in the city is a tool for place making, that I can give my followers another angle and way of viewing D.C.
After posting a few instagram’s and going on some explorations throughout the city, my main idea behind the project is still the same, but I am running into some difficulties that must require some re-thinking on my part. I still would like to expose the lesser known parts of the city in order to assist people in exploring D.C. while also getting a local’s thought’s and perspective. The part I am struggling with is tying some of my instagram’s with ideas from the course. I need to incorporate more ideas from the class into the Instagram such as ideas about gentrification within the neighborhood I am talking about. Also, Instagram does not let you hyperlink articles, something I thought was possible, which I am still figuring out how to work around.
Why I Choose to Write about Washington, D.C.
Going on my 19th year in D.C., you can say that I am truly enamored by this city. Being born and raised in D.C., when it came time for college, I simply could not leave, which is why I am beginning my next adventure at Georgetown University in the heart of D.C. Having grown up in Washington, I have come to know the city in a unique way- not as the capital of the United States or the home of the Smithsonian, but as a culturally thriving hub full of youthful energy. I want the world to see D.C. in a new way, through the eye’s of one if its very own born and bred youth, to expose D.C. in a new fashion, so that others can see D.C. and love it for the way that I do.
Who I Hope Will Read and Follow my Instagram Account:
I hope that this Instagram becomes an outlet for locals of D.C. to see the city through fresh eyes. I hope that Georgetown students and other locals such as high school students like I was these past four years or people out of school, find D.C. as a new and exciting place to live or visit. I hope that people will utilize my Instagram to get out and into the city and explore the “less- known” parts of Washington. I hope that my posts of what I’ve been up to in the city will help people to easily find out where to go and what to do. I hope that this Instagram becomes an accessible and interesting outlet for all things D.C.
Who Else Would Care About My Project?
I believe that local business, magazines, newspapers, bloggers, etc. would really take an interest in my Instagram. I feel that these types of people are always seeking out new things to write about or promote and I feel that they could truly benefit from reading about what a 19- year- old like myself is doing in the city. I think that teens and young adults of the city are a demographic that local businesses and other social media outlets such as newspapers and magazines are trying to attract as a following base and these people could utilize my blog as a tool to figure out where to find people such as myself and to see what we are interested in.
Why an Instagram?
In my opinion, Instagram is the most popular social media outlet of today. Everyone I know seems to have one and most companies, businesses, restaurants, publications seem to as well. I feel that by making an Instagram to report on my discoveries and findings in D.C. that I am creating an easy to follow account that people are guaranteed to see when they check their Instagram feed. I felt that this method would attract the most followers and would allow for me to also tag other businesses and restaurants etc. to my account so that people can continue to explore and research what I am doing. There are limitations to an Instagram though. In order for people to see it in their newsfeed, they have to actually follow the account, which makes my job a little trickier. I am going to need to market this account very well and try and spread the account around Georgetown in order to gain a following base.
What do I Want to Contribute to the “Conversation”?
D.C. today is known the political center of the United States and is known as the setting of popular shows today such as House of Cards and Scandal. These shows make D.C. seem like a scheming, somewhat dangerous, and politically centered city, but they are not exposing anything else about the city. I want to show the world the “other” side of D.C., the cultural side known for its restaurants, neighborhoods, natural beauty, bustling activity, and thriving residential life. I feel that it is important to expose D.C. as a multi- faceted city.
What Makes D.C. Difficult to Represent?
I think what makes D.C. to represent is some people’s preconceived notions about it and its seemingly less popular stance in comparison to the bigger cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago etc. Many people typically tend to think of those cities as one’s where most youth tend to go after college or during college and they are seen as the “big cities,” but within the past few years D.C. has had an influx of young adults into the city and it is growing culturally in so many ways, which is what I want to expose people to and to help demonstrate the D.C. is right up there with the other larger cities.
How Will I Organize my Project and How You Can Navigate It?
I am going to organize my project in the form of an Instagram, which will be a public account that people can follow very easily. Hopefully between tagging other business, using many hashtags, and giving all pictures geo-tags, that it will become an easy to find account and one that can also be used as a tool for people to continue to explore other accounts about things in D.C. and can also find similar pictures like mine.