My Adventures with UCINET
Looking back on this project, I definitely think that one advantage I had was simplifying my dataset to the five years before and the five years after the Civil War. Sorting through the 6000+ rows of information for the Stonewall Jackson Cemetery was definitely not the easiest task, but when it came to visualizations, it made my life a thousand times easier. My last project working with the Ring Tum Phi involved quite a large bit of data, and I learned my lesson that, when working with these pieces of software for the first time, simplicity is the best way to go.
In completing this project, I learned that network analysis does not always have to involved people, which is something I did not realize when it was initially introduced. In my project, I had the birth years serve as individuals, and it made my analysis much more fluid and flexible. It also allowed for me to use the visualization part of UCINET in a more creative way. My concept of data has definitely changed as well after working on these past two projects. My biggest take-away is that you need to make the data work for you. For this project, I had to do quite a bit of data manipulation to work with it in the UCINET software, and that really opened my eyes to how much control you actually have over your data if you know how to use the software to its fullest potential.
Finally, I would definitely say that I have so much more respect for technology and all of the work that goes into it after working on these two projects. I’m also way more interested in pursuing digital humanities work in my own life, which is pretty exciting. For my next project, I think I’ll try expanding my visualization resources and experimenting more with different ways to manipulate the data.