Twitter/Meta “Session” — THATCamp/DH Jargon

There’s been a lot of good, honest, appropriate posts about folks new to DH getting involved. Some responses have been focused on emphasizing the ‘friendliness’ of DH, but I have to say that to someone new to the area I don’t think that’s very convincing.

Latest example I know if is @madwomanlaugh‘s “A Glossary of Digital Humanities“.

So, I propose gathering people around a twitter hashtag two-fer: #thatcamp #jargon. Let’s get some folks who are willing to commit to following that pair of tags, and respond to questions directed at them asking questions.

A “hashtag” is something that happened in Twitter as a way to filter content. Similar to tags you are familiar with from Flickr or blogs, a hashtag is just a term preceded by a “#” hash or pound sign to signal that it is meant as one of those kinds of tags. It’s a way to include the same idea into the limited text of a Tweet. You just type along, and precede your tags with a #

So, who’s willing to join me in following the pair of hashtags, #thatcamp #jargon, and respond to questions about terms or ideas that seem confounding to people attenting THATCamp, and offer them various responses in an effort to give an introduction?

It runs the risk of too much information — if a lot of people respond to a tweeted question like

What is TEI? #thatcamp #jargon

The asker could be overwhelmed with responses. Hopefully, better that than exclusion based on knowledge not shared?

There will be gaps, and it’s an imperfect approach, but I think it might be helpful.

And yep! This is a twitter-centric approach to the issue. That’s because Twitter really is the most accessible broadcast mechanism we have, and clients offer the tools to help us focus on that pair of tags (e.g., a column in TweetDeck).

Any terms / ideas / technologies there unfamiliar? Please, join Twitter, and tweet a question about it including the hashtags #thatcamp #jargon !







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About Patrick Murray-John

Ph.D. in Medieval Lit from UW-Madison, then hunted a TT track job, was Visiting Ass't Prof. at University of Mary Washington, then switched to instructional technology at UMW. Joined CHNM in February 2011 -- woohoo! Love to talk all things Omeka, Linked Data, Drupal, Zotero. Preferably over beer.

6 thoughts on “Twitter/Meta “Session” — THATCamp/DH Jargon

  1. I think you are right–you need to get them onto twitter before you can get them using that resource. At my last intro workshop, I made all participants get on twitter, but it took a while. And I had to give them specific instructions on what to tweet.

    But, once they are on, and you have some tweeple committed to defining jargon, that will be good for instant answers, especially during an event. It will also be a good way to get newbies used to the idea of twitter as backchannel, if you help define terms during a talk or session.

  2. I also agree that beginners want an instant answer rather than a resource to consult. They need the experience of building their own vocabulary in dialogue.

  3. An intro to Twitter almost sounds more like a workshop than a session; but I’d be happy to help with something like that, and I’d be interested to watch for #jargon.

    Perhaps what you’re seeing here, Patrick, is a need for a community resource, along the lines of Lisa Spiro’s / Project Bamboo’s DiRT? I know that my colleague Roger Whitson has been trying to get his feet wet with topic modeling recently, but has had trouble finding even a good, basic definition that he could use in a workshop.

  4. Brian,

    Partially, but I was thinking more along the lines of when people new to DH or THATCamp hear things over and over again that the veterans know well, but aren’t obvious to newcomers, like any number of acronyms or places/centers. I want people to be able to tweet, e.g., “What is this ‘Myth’ place that people keep talking about? #THATCamp #jargon”, and have people reply with twitter-sized answers. Kind of like a short, on-demand, tweeted footnote to the current conversation.

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