Visualization Tools: Voyant

Using Voyant felt like using a more specific Google Ngrams. That's not a bad thing--or a good thing, at that, necessarily. It all depends on what one is trying to use the tool for. I enjoyed comparing word fequences in The Little Review, but I didn't feel as though I was gleaning much (if any) meaningful information, simply because I'm well aware of all the ways word frequency data can be skewed.

One thing I really liked about Voyant was the ease with which I could access the original text and the spots in which the words I searched for showed up. That helped to provide context that I am not accustomed to seeing with Ngrams. But in terms of analytical tools, I still prefer Gephi. But maybe that's still because of how impressed I was with Gephi's programming and manner of information visualization. (Our previous Manovich reading was rather enlightening on the matter of why Gephi might more naturally appeal to me than Voyant.)

Exploring Gephi and Understanding Technology

After a long process of trying and failing to get Gephi to work on my computer, I played around with the program with Brooke and found so many cool things to explore! The visualization of the different genres, themes, and various people in the Little Review and how they related to each other was really helpful! I'm much more of a visual learner, so getting to see the visuals of how they were all connected, getting to move around the nodes and spread things out more was really fun.  I'm really excited to learn more about the program throughout this class!

In my quest to learn more about technology, I enlisted my dad to help me figure out what was going on (one very great side effect of going to school 30 minutes away from home).  He's been my lifeline to technology for the last 20 years of my life, but even The Great and Powerful Computer Wizard Dabney couldn't help me install Gephi on my laptop, so we dug my old laptop up and were able to get it installed on that computer.  I still don't quite understand what Java really does and why it's neccessary, or what it takes to run a program like Gephi, but I'm very slowly learning.  This long and drawn out adventure of installing Gephi on my laptop has been very helpful in that quest to understand technology, maybe someday I'll finally get there. 

Gephi and The Little Review

As I have been exploring the Gephi program, a question has been dominating my thoughts: Is this visual program useufl for extracting and analyzing information? Or is it simply a visual illustration? After playing with the program (mostly at random), I have discovered that it is a useful informational tool, but in a way much different than I expected. For instance, I was expecting the informatin to be some sort of explicit, numerical, statistical details. I understand that this information may in fact exist, and I am just incapable of finding it. However, the information I received came specifically from the visual representation. For instance, the web of nodes demonstrated what the core theme of the magazine was, as well as how various topics were related to one another through various works. Again, this isn't explicit information/data, but it is certainly helpful to know!