data visualising references + progress

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Here’s a good link that I am going to bookmark for when I get a hang of javascript. This gallery on Github displays a great variety of data visualising scripts. I have not figured out how they work, specifically, but they all come with some very handy tutorials.

I find this to be a wonderful alternative to building a WordPress theme from sketch. I mentioned in my previous entry that I have trouble importing all of my blog posts to my own server, so I cannot make use of the WordPress plugins anyway, as a large percentage of my entries will not be accounted for.

I spent the day drawing out some general statistics from January 2005 – May 2005. Here’s a sample:


I did this for each month.


My main purpose for doing this is to sieve out the metadata so that I can tell a story with these figures and tags. I don’t intend to show any of my blog entries, as I feel that they don’t necessarily describe my relationship with blogging. Also, working with metadata helps to build my work around the bildungsroman theme by offering a bird’s eye view of the topics that I write about, taking into account the frequency of details like exclamation points (which I later renamed to “emotional punctuation”) after I notice that I used to end my sentences with lots of !!!!! and !?!!?!??!? whenever I feel frustrated. Words can also be associated with certain kind of lingo which will define some of my hobbies, like ‘skin’ and ‘layout’, for example. These words were used to describe the my blog themes then.

I find some of the examples of data visualising techniques on the Github gallery are pretty engaging. They also look really amazing. I think that I can definitely work the script to my advantage and incorporate my illustrative style to make my work more engaging.

wordpress process




Yesterday I wrote down a basic list of statistics that I want to compile for every month. I googled for some WordPress plugins that might help do the trick, although another problem I face is that my blog is hosted free on WordPress, which doesn’t grant me the capability to run open source plugins. So I migrated my site to my own existing server, but I ran into another problem: the number of posts on both the free WordPress site and my own site does not tally.fk01

Above: My hosted site WP admin.

I’ve exported all the necessary files and some of the posts got missing, and not just some… but over a thousand. I would probably give and take a bit, but I think that with over a thousand missing posts would affect the work. (a thousand posts is roughly 3.5 years worth of entries)



And this is my free blog on WordPress.

I downloaded a plugin to install on my site, called Word Stats, it’s a pretty nifty tool, it displays expanded information on your entries. For example, while typing an entry on OSS, you can see the word count at the bottom of the post window. Word Stats would provide character count, length of sentences, average number of words per sentences etc. I think it’s not a complete waste to download the script and not having all my posts on my own site, but I think I can use the script for mass gathering of data, like copy and pasting a month’s worth of entries to see the stats being generated.



For the post frequency per day, I’ve put back the calendar widget on my own site to help me find out.

reframing concept

thisjournalsuitsme examines growth and self-discovery in the age of the Internet, particularly in the period before the advent of social media. The concept of deconstruction and the literary genre bildungsroman comes together to form the framework for this project. The method of ‘remixing’ will be used to explore and manipulate my archive of digital and virtual journals, summing up these data in web and print forms.


At the start of the semester I wrote a short introduction to my FYP, before I decided to analyze just my blog content only and going with data visualisation. I think that even though my current desired outcome might be very different from what I had envisioned at the start, I don’t think the concept will change drastically, perhaps I just need to rephrase or reframe certain ideas. Even though I am totally new to data visualising and infographics and not completely knowing where to begin scares me a little right now, I think I am able to find my way around it, and to eventually make something I will be proud of. I feel that this learning process is particularly important to me at this point because I want to graduate knowing that I’ve made something completely unexpected and new, combining what I’ve already known/can make, with something that I have learned.

These are some ideas that I want to make clear about my project currently:

  1. Using bildungsroman as the main framework for storytelling with my data. The outcomes of visualising my blog data is a look at the psychological transition from youth to adult.
  2. The web part of my project will be an interactive way of looking at data visualisation. Glitch aesthetics will be used as metaphor for the topics that I write about in my blog (various kinds of experiences as transient errors that seek to resolve by themselves).

That’s all for the moment. Writing about it helps a lot, kind of refreshes my mind.


data visualising techniques


I found this website with a gallery of beautiful data visualising techniques, which (at last) gives me some ideas on how I can break down my data. I haven’t done much since recess week and am struggling with how to make use of my data. Tagcrowd is particular useful as I can take a look at the taxonomy of my blog posts, at a glance, from any period that I pick. So I don’t have to go through every single post to draw it out. It can be done, although it will be a feat because I’m not looking at book.

I think I have been putting it off for a bit because I got started with highlighting the text according to categories I made up and at one point I was like WHAT ?!?!?! and it was rather scary and overwhelming and I think I might not be able to continue doing for each and every post (I have 2,700 entries), and the content might become way too arbitrary to fit into just one or two categories. Also, going through what I have written when I was 13 was particularly embarrassing at times, even though I do take a step back and look at the text from a systematic point of view… still can be a struggle, because I did write them after all, and I’m not analyzing something that’s written by someone else or something that is purely fictional. I find this psychological part of doing this project something that I can also expand on, perhaps later, or as part of the process journal. The act of going through one’s journals and looking it from a third-person point of view.

Anyway, this is where Tagcrowd comes in handy for just sieving out words like “school”, “people”, “art”, just to highlight some broad categories immediately, and then under these umbrella of terms, I can then go into the entries and pick out some of the significant words I use to talk about these things.

I might start with some numbers for example, just to get me started. Just plain old figures. I got here a quick list I made just now:

  1. Number of words in my archive
  2. Total number of entries
  3. Post frequency
  4. Day of the week with highest posts
  5. Day of week with lowest posts
  6. Longest entry
  7. Shortest entry
  8. Number of exclamation marks used (Thought of this when I saw some particular angsty entries… ha ha)
  9. Number of swear words used (After the above)

Please let me know if you have more ideas 🙂

I can’t believe it took me a week to get this entry out. I’ve been feeling quite stuck and I have been bumming around. I should have just written this out. It got me out of the rut a little.

collecting data


It’s not easy to work with data, I think, especially when I have absolutely no experience with it. Here’s what I got so far. I highlighted the text according to categories (school/self/etc). I’m not sure how I might go about deconstructing the text. I got a book about data visualising, so I’m currently reading through it.

WordPress Theme Sketch

Theme URL:

This theme aims to present data in a single-page, long form manner. The data is my blog entries from 2005-2015, which I’m currently breaking down and building the tags by hand. (literally!) I would call this an experimental theme, that does not aim to function as a working theme, where new entries can be added and viewed. The theme uses existing WordPress widgets and the structure of the blog as an interactive way of presenting information. This is what I hope to achieve in the virtual part of my work. 

Here’s the outline of the theme:

(Note: this sketch is meant to be as simple as possible. My aim is to try and work out the function, before I add in the visuals.)



At the top of the theme is a calendar. Think of this as the big cloud that holds all the entries together, from various years. The entries are grouped in months rather than years, for example: January 2005, January 2006, January 2007, etc. The months are links: upon clicking them, more specific entries will show up.



Let’s take October for example. When October is selected, a tag cloud will show up.



The cloud describes the topics that are written in this month, over the years. This is the key feature of this theme as the tag cloud is an overview of how the content in my blog have progressed in the span of the time I’ve been writing it. A click on the tag will bring up even more specific entries.


Let’s select the word ‘computer’. The theme will then list all the entries written about ‘computer’ in October, over the years.



When a specific tag is highlighted, it will list the years with this topic. *I forgot to add, but next to the year, there should be a number that displays the amount of posts.



Upon clicking the year, the entries will finally show up.


WIP: type + collage


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Been spending these haze-filled days making these collages and experimenting with type layout. The first gif image of type shows my process of creating a few character styles on indesign. I think that would help speed up my process since I have tons of type to go through. Also, with just a click I can see how they come together. Been flipping through Carson’s books for this.

Then these are the scans of the collages I’ve been making. I will eventually print the manipulated type on tracing paper and wrap it around the printed collage, rather than directly on the collage itself. Helps to give the work some texture and dimension.

I’m working on a few different things at once, and I’m not really sure if it’s clear what I’m trying to do for each outcome, but writing here helps a lot. Also have tons of references that I got to categorise… I will work my way through slowly. All exciting and good stuff!!


Recycled mix process

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I’ve been making stacks of these collages, from torn magazine papers. Trying to layer different patterns and elements to form a texture, which will be the background for the type from my blog. Will make a couple of spreads this weekend.IMG_9570IMG_9568  IMG_9571 IMG_9575

Thinking about layering text over the collage surface to give it some dimension rather that having it all printed on the page.



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Think it’s time to get my hands dirty and start cutting some things up before reassembling them again in photoshop. Can’t do much of these stuff on the computer, and I think I enjoy cutting and pasting.

I also printed my journals out, and will get to work cutting them up and physically remixing/deconstructing them. Can’t wait…


Desired outcomes for FYP



After the few weeks of preliminary research and accumulating all sorts of concepts and references, I think I might finally settle down on some big keywords at last. So my plan for this week is to work on my project report, locking down my desired outcomes for the project and making an FYP timeline.

Below is the list of outcomes with a brief description of the project.



This is a remake of the Calendar project made last semester.

  • a massive deconstructed typography project, using content from my blog
  • there will be ten mini books that will make up this project, each book made up of blog entries written in a single year.
  • each book to be a5 size.


  • a paper describing the nature of the project, and some of the writing I made last year about this exploration of archiving.
  • I thought it will be important to include this as it will be helpful to explain my reasons for embarking on such a project.
  • nothing big or fancy, just a booklet.


  • this is a compilation of my visual journals

a picture

  • an illustration inspired by internet art and culture.

the infinity adventure

  • a web venture employing the use of longform storytelling
  • animated .gifs