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 !







not quite a session proposal

Hello, fellow campers! I’m new to this game — this will be my first THATCamp — so I don’t think I want to propose a session. But I would like to ask for help. Consider this an informal request that can be addressed via comments here, in between-sessions conversations at the camp, or on Twitter.

Next spring I will be teaching a class called . . . well, I haven’t settled on a title yet, but for now let’s call it Digital Reading and Research. It will be an upper-divisional course, but also a kind of trial run for a general education course. (That is, if the course goes well my institution might consider creating a version of it for freshmen, possibly to be required of all freshmen.) The key purposes of the course will be:

  • to introduce students to the history of digital texts and digital humanities;
  • to situate these technologies within the larger history of humanistic scholarship;
  • to outline the controversies currently surrounding these developments, from techno-utopians (Kevin Kelly) to moderate skeptics (Nick Carr, Jaron Lanier);
  • to give students hands-on experience with some of the most useful tools available, from Google Scholar to Zotero to CommentPress to . . . whatever.

My current plan is for roughly half the course to cover the first three points and half to cover practice with the tools. So fellow campers, give me your best suggestions for how to organize this course, what texts to assign, what assignments to give — anything you got that might be helpful to someone teaching it for the first time. I would be much obliged to you!