Fall 2016 – Research Division

This semester I worked with the Research Division on Digital Humanities Now.  I was tasked with inventory and assessment of the over 500 subscribed feeds.  These feeds were/are primarily personal or institutional blogs related to the digital humanities.  Since DH Now lives here at CHNM, there were a lot more history blogs than there might be if it lived somewhere else, but there were many entries in literature, anthropology, cultural studies and perhaps most active recently, libraries, museums and cultural heritage institutes.  I cleanup up the site by removing a couple hundred broken and abandoned blogs, and moved 50 or so to their new homes.  I also categorized the entries by discipline and organized the sites by frequency.  There was a meeting to see if folders would be helpful to the editors, but it seemed that it wouldn’t really be of much help.

If I were to make some cursory observations from the DH Now feeds, I would say that it seems like personal blogs are not as popular as they were five years ago.  Most of the ‘big’ names if you will can publish on larger audience platforms – online journals, news sites, etc.  This is a great opportunity for graduate students to work with original scholarship into the blog post medium, since it might a bit harder for them to get ‘DH’ thought pieces onto HuffPost.  I fear however, that microblogging takes up a lot of time.  I also saw a lot of blogs that lasted as long as grad school and then were abandoned or turned into personal sites with links to syllabi and monographs.  At any rate, if the quantitative trends in digital humanities are to serve as guideline for making assertions, it really isn’t right of me to make these kinds of generalizations without a real data set.

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