Teaching Digital History: Or, Out of My Comfort Zone

Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope your week went well and you have a lovely weekend planned. Today I want to share some of my experiences from the last quarter, especially about being outside of my comfort zone in my teaching duties. This spring quarter I taught a digital history class that I had created for the history department for the first time and it was both completely fun and completely terrifying at the same time. Let me explain.

I was asked last year by the chair of our history department if I would like to create a digital history methods course. Of course, I said yes! After checking out as many digital history course syllabi as I could find online and digging through lots of literature I began to draw up a syllabus with input from the history chair. We wanted the course to combine theory and practice so the students would get an opportunity for hands-on work as well as getting a grounding in the theory of digital history and current discussions surrounding digital history. After a few iterations of the syllabus, we had a course that we thought would be good so we were able to put it forward to be approved for the next academic year. Happily, the approval process was fairly straightforward and we were on our way for having it taught this spring quarter.

I’ve taught for six years on campus, but I was totally terrified (and excited) to be teaching for the history department a brand new course with non-first year students. But after a bit of shuffling of students in the first few weeks of the course, we settled into the groove of the course and got into the discussions and work of the digital history project. After reviewing the students’ course evaluations, which were overwhelmingly positive, I can’t wait to see where the history department takes their digital history courses next. I just wanted to share a few thoughts about my experience and how it helps in all my work.

First Thought: Just because you are talking with someone in an allied field doesn’t mean they know or understand your field.

This was one idea that has really stuck with me after teaching a digital history course. I really wanted the course to be cross-disciplinary, so I challenged my students to read outside of their comfort zone of history articles and texts. We read articles in Science on using big data for research, library science articles, articles written by archivists studying historians, and more. Some of the students talked in class and wrote about how it really pushed them and was hard at first to understand these other fields. Many of the history majors talked about how they weren’t aware of what archivists did or that anyone was studying how historians used archives. It was really interesting for me to figure out how to translate research from different fields and get students excited to learn about things outside of the history field and see the interconnections that they could use as they go out and become teachers, public historians, etc.

Second Thought: Digital History is always changing so it’s okay to experiment, too

As anyone who works with me knows, I like to have plans and to be prepared for class before the quarter starts. I’m happy improvising up to a point, but winging an entire class doesn’t work for me. Happily, I found a middle ground with this class. While the main bones of the course were all settled before the term started so the students knew overall what to expect, we were able to experiment and improvise with parts of the course so that we could focus on issues that were of interest to the students. It was great to be able to pull in new online videos and articles into the class discussions and readings that would make our learning richer. Some sites didn’t work when we tried to use them in class, other sites seemingly disappeared. Sometimes things that looked easy from the help tutorials turned out to be crazy hard and other times things that looked hard turned out to be easy. Being open to experimentation is key, which leads me to my next thought.

Third Thought: Being uncomfortable is a part of learning and having a supportive environment allows us to work through it

Many of my students talked to me about their difficulties working through some of the new theory presented, some of the technical specifications we talked about, and trying to create online projects instead of writing a research paper. There were definitely moments of discomfort and stretching in class, but that is what learning is about. We have to challenge ourselves to keep learning, to find new ways to communicate history, and to find new ways of engaging with others. While learning may be uncomfortable at times, it was my job as the instructor to maintain a supportive environment for learning, for making mistakes, and for ultimately creating some awesome digital history projects.

My time teaching this course was an amazing experience. I learned a lot that I want to incorporate into my other courses and I hope that I have a chance to collaborate with our awesome history department and students some more in the future. So, I guess what I’m saying is that while the students may have been challenged, I was challenged, too, and learned so much. It was a tiring, fun, terrifying, and invigorating class and term. I can’t wait to see what the next academic year brings.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, dear readers. I’ll be back soon with some more news and notes. Allons-y!

Grab Bag of Tips for Friday

Happy Friday, dear readers! Can you believe that we’ve finished up a week in November already? I can’t. Anyway, today’s post is a grab bag of tips and interesting reports that I wanted to share today. No real theme other than I thought these were interesting and/or useful and wanted to share.

This Lifehacker article is both useful and something you could do this weekend: how to make your entire internet life more secure in one day. Always good to be up on internet security.

For a couple of reports that I recently read (and really enjoyed), I thought I’d share California Digital Library’s CDL Strategic Themes and CDL Annual Report 2012-2013. I’m super-biased when it comes to the CDL and the OAC because I’ve never had anything but good experiences with the people there, our university archives is part of the OAC, and I really just think they are doing an awesome job at all their programs and are super-generous with sharing and helping out other, smaller institutions (like ours). So it was great to read a couple of documents that were easy to understand and outlined both accomplishments and goals for the coming year. I can’t wait to see what else gets rolled out and am looking forward to getting more of our archival documents into the OAC in the coming year. Nice work CDL.

I thought this was a nice article on 3 mental tricks to deal with people who annoy you. We all get annoyed, but these are some ways to at least downgrade the annoyance.

Also, because I really do enjoy being productive and getting things done, I wanted to share this infographic on how to productive. It’s quite a lovely infographic and distills a lot of very good advice into one easy to read graphic (which I know is the point of all infographics, but this one actually works).

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I’ll be back week with more. Allons-y!

Some ideas and fun for Friday as I'm off to Portland for WACES!

Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope your week has gone well and you have a relaxing weekend before you. It is hard to believe we are halfway through November already. The time does seem to start going more quickly at this time of year. I’m off this weekend to speak with one of my colleagues at WACES (Western Association for Counselor Education & Supervision) this weekend. I’m really excited to be speaking at a conference that isn’t in my field and can’t wait to see how we are received. I’ll hopefully post some thoughts and photos next week. But first let’s get to the ideas and fun for the weekend.

First, check out the great post from Lifehacker on Idea Rot: Why Ideas Have a Two Week Shelf Life. Short article and it will get you motivated (hopefully) to take some of your ideas and make them real. I’m a huge believer in setting aside time away from distractions for getting things done. I had to carve out lots of time when I was writing my dissertation and I still have to carve out time away from people and the Internet in order to get articles written or any of my design projects finished. It is so important to give ourselves the permission to really work and ignore other things, like email, in order to accomplish more in a day then eight hours on email.

I’m also thrilled that ArchiveGrid will become free in January 2013 (via INFOdocket)! Very exciting news and definitely great to share with anyone you know who does archival research.

Finally, because it is Friday, I wanted to share this video that is sure to make you smile (HT to Collin for sharing this with me).

Have a wonderful weekend full of relaxation, fun, and maybe getting into that project you’ve been dreaming about for months! I’m off to rainy Portland, but will be back next week with more. Allons-y!

Job Tips, Sleeping, and Randomness on a Friday

Happy Friday, dear readers! Today is a big day at my campus as we have the President’s Investiture today. So this blog post will be brief, but still filled with some interesting and helpful tips and links. So let’s get to it so I can then go off and figure out how to correctly put on my robes.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I love sharing great articles from Lifehacker, especially about productivity, interviewing, and basic job tips. Naturally then, I wanted to share this article on how to avoid the inevitable feeling that your job sucks. Great read, good advice, and definitely worth sharing with others.

Also, I really appreciated this article on how to be assertive without losing yourself. I think it is especially good for introverts since it explains that you don’t need to be pushy or cold in order to be assertive and that being assertive doesn’t mean being aggressive or being a bully. That difference is really important to remember. My favorite people to work with are assertive, but still empathetic and respectful and are definitely the people I consider leaders.

Also, if you want to check out another project aimed at using cloud storage for digital preservation, check out ArchiveBox. This is an interesting project that I hope I’ll have time to explore more this weekend.

Because it is almost the weekend and a lot of people (including myself) look forward to the weekend to do a bit of sleeping in, I thought I’d share this article on how to find your ideal bedtime with the morningness/eveningness questionnaire. It’s a quick questionnaire to fill out and helpful to find a good bedtime. I am, very unsurprisingly to my friends and family, a definite morning person. However, I’m not convinced about only getting 7 hours of sleep a night, as the results are based on, but it did re-confirm my preferred bedtime (although getting up at 5am is completely *not* my preferred morning wake up time).

I want to leave you with this photograph of a beautiful staircase that I would totally recreate in my house, if I had stairs:

Book Staircase on Beautiful Portals Tumblr

Book Staircase on Beautiful Portals Tumblr

Have a wonderful weekend, dear readers. I’ll be back next week with more tips and tools. Allons-y!

Communication, Cool New Tool from CDL, and an Archives Song!

Happy Friday, dear readers! Toady I’m going to share some links that I find helpful in the realms of communication, new data curation tool from California Digital Library, and some weekend fun. Let’s get right into it because the weekend is calling!

I really appreciate this article from Lifehacker: how to avoid awkward conversations when meeting someone new. So if you feel like this xkcd cartoon below in conversation, do yourself a favor and read the article. Just say no to awkwardness in conversations!

internal monologue by xkcd

internal monologue by xkcd

Also, check out this article on asking questions to determine if a manager will be a good boss. Always good to figure this out before you accept a job offer. Pass it on to those you know who are looking for employment.

I think Data Up is so cool and will be of great use to researchers who need to manage and preserve their data (in Excel format) because of grant requirements and wanting to share data with others. From the press release:

CDL partnered with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Microsoft Research Connections and DataONE to create the DataUp tool, which is free to use and creates a direct link between researchers and data repositories.

Please share the information with the researchers you know or work with at your institutions. I love seeing great products and tools created for digital curation and preservation. Even better, the code is open source so it can be improved, which is “strongly encouraged.”

Thank you to all who attended, volunteered, and presented at Library 2.012 this week. It was a lot of fun. I think my group’s presentation went well and I enjoyed listening to some fantastic talks on recent research and digital preservation work. If you want to listen to any of the recordings, you can find the links on this page.

And finally, to leave you with something fun, check out this wonderful parody video and share it with all the archivists you know. Many thanks to my friends for making me aware of this video!

Have a wonderful weekend and I’ll be back next week with more. Allons-y!

Friday Fun: Digital Data

Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope you’ve had a lovely week. I’m excited it’s almost the weekend as it has been a very busy week on campus (final exams week). Today I just want to share some information that has come up in the past week or so about digital archives, preservation, and data. Lots of good stuff to think about over the weekend.

But first, in case you are tempted to work over the weekend, check out Lifehacker’s article on How Many Hours Do You Work Per Week? (Hint: If it’s over 40, you may have a problem). This is a great reminder to not work crazy-long hours and to also use the hours you do work effectively so you still accomplish what you need to during your workweek. Let’s all raise a cup of tea (or coffee) to not being slaves to work!

Share this great infographic with your colleagues, friends, and family and stop the email insanity! Should I send this E-mail? (infographic). Less email= less time spent on email = less digital stuff to worry about = less to curate and preserve in the future = everyone is happier!

This is a great article, NSW Government to open source digital archives software. I’m so excited to see what open source software is created by the government as the programmers and records managers continue to work on managing the digital archives in New South Wales.

If you are into digital data curation and use or just curious about the world of digital data, check out the new blog from the California Digital Library, Data Pub. I think this will turn into a really useful resource for people working in the field and a great resource to help those who are new to data curation, preserving and accessing data sets online, etc. It would be a great resource to share with researchers you know who want to access open data sets and/or need to comply with new grant regulations about preserving and making available their data sets.

On the fun side of talking about digital stuff and computers, check out this great Kickstarter for IT Barrier Tape from the creators of “Not Invented Here” comic strip. I’m definitely backing this because I want a few rolls of the tape because they will make great gifts for some computer engineers I know. 🙂

Finally, check out this lovely photograph. Doesn’t it just make you want to go on vacation? I think it is a wonderful image to get us into a relaxed state for he weekend.

Photo from Inspirationlane via Beautiful Portals Tumblr

Photo from Inspirationlane via Beautiful Portals Tumblr

Have a wonderful rest of your day, a lovely weekend, and I’ll be back next week with more library and archives talk. Allons-y!

PDA 2012: Academics Session

Very excited for this session on personal digital archiving in the academic setting. Let’s get into it!

Note: These summaries are not in order of presentation because they didn’t follow the schedule and I had already made up the outline of my post.

Voices from the field Smiljana Antonijevic (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences)
This research comes from two projects: Alfalab (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) and Humanities Information Practices (Oxford Internet Institute). Did site visits, observations, interviews, log-file analysis. 95 informants for this study of digital humanities.

Found out about main challenges through this study. Scholars showed a “broad spectrum of technology used and awareness.” Very important to keep in mind that there is a wide-range of skills, practices, and interests among scholars when we are creating tools for them to use. Found that some scholars print out everything and make handwritten notes before writing up their findings. Others do all their work digitally and use databases, visualization tools, and annotation tools before disseminating findings online via blogs, online journals, etc.. Plus, everything in between these two extremes.

Preservation issues stand out in this study’s findings. Very important challenge. Scholars said that their research happens in bursts so not as organized as they (or we) would like. [I can totally relate to that.] Very random preservation practices among the scholars. Limited awareness of cloud storage, etc.. Scholars worried about sustainability of digital resources and archives. Need sustainable infrastructures.

Librarians have their own struggles. What to preserve? How to preserve stuff? What needs to be reformatted? [Same struggles that archivists face.] More advanced users have more advanced problems (probably because they are using more and more varied tools).

One informant: “There is a huge problem of data preservation and archiving.”

Another challenge: Preservation+ Value-added preservation to allow scholars to use their data in new ways after preservation. [I think this is a very interesting point and it is from the user so that is always cool. I wonder how we would do this. Maybe via a similar set-up to DataONE?]

Difficult to move forward because there is such a divergence among scholars about what they want from Digital Humanities tools. Plus, so much variance among use and interest in technological tools.

What’s being lost, what’s being saved: practices in digital scholarship and personal archiving John Butler (University of Minnesota)
Talking about research on data practices of scholars. Called them “primitives” then looked at activities and behaviors. [Butler says this study has been published] 73% of respondents said they need assistance for organizing and storing their materials. 37% said they have unique research collections. Other findings: diversity of resources/media used, methods learned in “traditional” contexts are not easily transferred to digital context, and researchers have interest in sharing data, but only in their own ways.

Other finding: each scholar has own digital processes (not surprising). Advocates for standardized practice. [Wouldn’t every archivist love standardized practice and records? It would make our work a lot easier, but the records much less interesting (in my opinion as I like variety).] Also advocating lifecycle thinking for records [just like archivists have been talking about for years]. You can check out their website on managing your data.

Note: I didn’t catch when this research was completed or I would have included a citation to the research publication or linked to the article if it was in an open access journal.

Tale of Two Researchers by Laura Gurak (University of Minnesota)
Gurak is trained in qualitative research methodologies and storing of data. Talking about how it is easier to be organized in analog
world. Digital media makes storing data more complicated and often in more places than when there was paper recordkeeping. In digital space, different type of researcher. Less motivation to be organized with personal research because no IRB, no concern about reproducibility, etc..

Talking about her Lotus MarketPlace case study (also published as a book). She looked into the protest online in 1990 because of privacy issues (her dissertation research). Looked at emails and Usenet news posting to analyze. Data now lives on a local hard drive.

Other case study: personal research on the ship that brought over her grandmother from Copenhagen. Gurak’s become her family’s archivist and tech support person. Able to find out where the ship was docked in Copenhagen through the internet. But lost trail of her research, got so excited that didn’t save the way she found information. Terrible track of her resources because not treating it as a research project. The information she has lives everywhere.

Faculty Member as Micro-Librarian: Critical literacies for personal scholarly archiving Ellysa Stern Cahoy by Penn State University Libraries
“Library of today resides on the scholars’ desktops.” Looking at critical literacies for personal archiving, based on the information literacy (IL) standards from ACRL. [Stern Cahoy is on a taskforce at ACRL reviewing the IL standards. Oh, please make them more conversant with the IL research coming out of Australia.]

Curation, archiving, and preservation are not part of the IL standards right now. Stern Cahoy wants to include these standards in the next iteration of the IL standards. [I think this would be very cool and useful, especially as I teach information literacy to first-year college students] Also would be more aligned with SCONUL’s Seven Pillars of Information Literacy.

I, Digital: Personal collections as an archival endeavor by Cal Lee of UNC Chapel Hill
Focusing on the archival profession and trends. Many archival institutions have collecting missions that include personal papers in addition to institutional records.

Five trends:
1. Work within collecting institutions have become very professionalized (specialization, profession education and training, conferences, professional associations, specialized language, etc.)
2. Individuals have gained more ability to create and store materials
3. Parts of personal collections are distributed across a diversity of systems, environments, and platforms
4. Researchers have placed more emphasis on importance of personal stories (yay, social history!)
5. Previously distinct communities have realized they have similar issues with dealing with digital materials.

Long-standing division of the manuscripts versus public records traditions in the archival profession. “Evidential turn” of the 1990s in archival literature, inspired by electronic records. This divide has flavored the way the profession has dealt with personal digital archives. Not a lot of focus on these personal records until recently.

Along with other related streams of activity, like electronic recordkeeping, personal information management, and tools for user-generated collections, now influence how we deal with personal digital records. Many recent projects and activities focused on personal digital archives (much funded by the Mellon Foundation).

Just published the I, Digital about work on personal digital archives. (Check it out for more information about this topic).

Huge potential for further collaboration among tech people, curators, archivists, and special collections librarians. Can develop this arena in a way that will get attention to help out the archival profession expand the solutions to personal digital archives.

Take Home Messages
We need to work together to bring more attention to the issues and promises of personal digital archives. I think this is especially important for the archives profession. We must also keep better track of our digital research projects, even if they start out as personal projects, because the personal can morph into something larger and it is important to document. We need to remember that there is a great variance among scholars in the adoption, interest, and use of digital resources when we are creating new tools (repurposing tools) for digital humanities (and really in the creation of any digital tools). Incorporating personal archiving into the information literacy standards would be amazing and very helpful for making students more aware of and able to organize, preserve, and ultimately be able to use their own archives. Academic session for the win! Great talks all.

PDA 2012: Day 2 Keynote by Cathy Marshall

Happy Friday! It is Day 2 of Personal Digital Archiving 2012 and first up we have the keynote by Cathy Marshall of Microsoft Research: “Whose Content is it Anyway? User Perspectives on Archiving Social Media.” Let’s see what she has to say on user’s perspective on archiving social media.

Discussing the issues around reuse of images on the Internet. Lots of reuse of materials on the Internet, especially images. Many people don’t even attribute when they use images, even if they can legally use them under Creative Commons (which is bad). Social norms have developed around reuse because people ignore laws, market share, and the architecture around reusing (using Lessig’s “jelly bean” diagram).

So we are left with social norms. Did a study of user behaviors around using and reusing images.

“Everyone” believes that you can keep anything you find online. “It’s yours.” [No wonder I have a hard time explaining fair use and copyright to my students.]

People seem to be able to justify any use and reuse of images. Many feel that everything on the web is in the public domain and don’t have any conception of copyright. People feel differently about reusing different types of media. People are very liberal in their reuse of images. People worried more about reusing other people’s reviews versus other people’s photographs.

People worry about manipulating images and reviews in ways that are mean-spirited. Feelings are important to take into account when reusing materials.

Factors that influence social norms: personal experience, media type, perception of misuse or harm done, and mis/understanding of copyright.

Making a case for institutional archives [umm….institutional archives are quite old. Let’s see what she means by this…] She seems to be talking about personal digital archiving instead of institutional archives. Within families, the person interested in archiving and the person interested in technology are often not the same person. People are saving information in many places which makes personal data management more difficult. There is an “overwhelming power of benign neglect” because digital clutter is invisible because “creation is more rewarding than stewardship.”

Therefore, it’s difficult to get people to manage their data. Plus, it is difficult for institutional archives to manage all these digital traces. People aren’t worried about storing social media in institutional archives, they worry about access and reuse. There is a difference between being public in the digital social media landscapes and being archived in public institutional archives.

Looking at people’s perceptions of institutional archives, using the Library of Congress as the prototypical archive. People are okay with immediate access for researchers (researcher was not defined), but people were not okay with immediate public access to social media in institutional archives. People were okay with the general public having access in 50 years.

Implications: people “can’t make a go of it on their own.” Therefore, we need institutional archives to help with preserving social media.

Take Home Message
People are confused (or don’t care) about the correct use and reuse of images they find on the Internet. We need education and also archivists to actually preserve social media. Not really brand new thoughts or findings, but always good to emphasize these issues.

PDA 2012: Systems, Tools, Platforms

Second afternoon talk: Systems/Tools/Platforms

Putting Personal Archives to Work by Sudheendra Hangal of Stanford University
Personal motivation for creating tools: reading his grandfather’s wonderful diaries which covered 50 years of his life. Thinking about what his grandchildren would read, he thought of emails. Then began creating MUSE in order to browse long-term email archive in a convenient and fun way. The original goal was for personal archival use, even though it is now being used for institutional archives at Stanford.

MUSE runs on user’s own machine, browser-based interface, can get emails from multiple online accounts, and also does data cleaning. Creates cues for users and then users can decide what is interesting and useful for the users. People use MUSE to reminisce about the past, but also to “add color to flashbulb memories,” summarize work progress, identify personal emails in work email accounts, retrieve all attachments, and feel “a renewed sense of confidence.” [Always interesting to see how people find new ways to use tools]

Looking at inline applications for digital archives since many people in the tech world don’t think it’s interesting to look at the past. Working at slanting your search: a search engine per user, populated with domains in their social chatter and search results restricted to these domains. Ran user studies for different search engines. The best results over all were for the email search engine that were personalized for the user from the curated domains. Findings: eliminates spam, good search results. Check out demo of Slanted search here.

Application for consuming textual information to create experience-infused browser. Using your digital archive to customize your browser. Privacy-preserving personalization because all personal data on client (no third party), very rich profile (but unstructured), potentially comprehensive, every site does not have to implement personalization, and no setup needed. People like to discover names of people the know or have discussed, organizations with which they are affiliated, and more. [Hopefully we’ll be able to use this soon]

Personal archives contain detailed experiences and we can mine the archives for the owner’s benefit. Lots of questions and work to still do, but very exciting.

Data Triage and Data Analytics for Personal Digital Collections Kam Woods of UNC Chapel Hill
Working on the BitCurator Project. The project “is an effort to build, test, and analyze systems and software for incorporating digital forensics methods into the workflows of a variety of collecting institutions.”

Why? Because there are many issues in digital preservation and archiving. Issues around the acquisition of personal digital collections in collecting institutions: protecting information, processing collections, and generating metadata–takes time and staff. These issues are long-standing. Need reliable, scalable, and interoperable standards, tools, and techniques.

Building a model for a “forensically enhanced workflow.” Start with a donor device, extract fixed media, acquire raw disk image and forensic packaging, then go to staging area to extract context-senstive identification of private information, acquisition metadata, filesystem metadata, prepare redacted image, permissions overlay, and crosswalks to archival metadata, package for ingest, then to the archives. [Looks complicated]

Looks like it will be useful for collecting institutions once the project is finished and is made user-friendly.

Cowbird by Jonathan Harris
Went from keeping sketchbooks to working on the web and creating websites. You can see his work here. Interesting websites and art that document the world and experiences. You can see Cowbird here. Looking at compression of communication (speeding up), disposability, curating information, and self-promotion. Wants to see revival of deepening, timelessness, creation, and self-reflection in life an online.

Cowbird’s goals are to create place for expression, a new way of journalism, and build a library of life experience. “Deeper form of self-expression.”

Take Home Messages
So many uses for MUSE. Check it out. There are many ways to use personal digital archives to improve searching today, very interesting way to connect archives to daily life. Many ways to communicate and share online. It is what we make of it.

PDA 2012: Social Network Data

First after-lunch session at PDA 2012 on Social Network Data. Let’s get to it.

Arc-chiving: saving social links for study by Marc A. Smith at Social Media Research Foundation
This is the “what’s new since last year talk.” Trying to build the “Firefox of GraphML” open tools for collecting and visualizing social media data to show patterns of connections. Open tool: NodeXL (works with Excel 2007 and Excel 2010). Creating a platform for sharing data sets: NodeXLGraphGallery.

“2011 was the year of the crowd.” Many, many people gathered in crowds in social media. Through using the NodeXL tools, you can see the social networks and online community connections. [Nice visualizations for doing analyses]

Publishing on taxonomy of social media (lots of work on open scholarship). Lots of stuff still to do. More workshops are coming so keep an eye out for them and new features/tools/etc..

Need to get companies and people to play together in order to truly be able to document social media networks and connections. [I think there are a lot of conversations that need to happen around privacy, social good, connections, research, preservation, etc. in order to move these kind of programs forward.]

Personal Interaction Archiving: Saving our Attitudes, Beliefs, and Interests by Megan Alicia Winget of UT Austin

“Thing” based behavior of looking at archiving things (e.g. objects) versus interaction based behavior (e.g. Foursquare and Yelp). Many options for archiving and preserving their interactions online. Winget is giving a theoretical talk instead of tool-based talk.

Bookmarking as a new type of commonplace book. “Everything old is new again.” Commonplace book= place to store quotes, excerpts, etc. in journal form. Using bookmarking tools is a way of returning to an early way of reading and writing, skipping around and reading many things at once. Remixing, annotating, etc. are very old ideas. People now annotate and highlight through ebook tools and can share them, if they choose to do so. Readers are having “wordless conversations” through their annotations.

Need to think about ownership and representation when looking at uploaded annotations. Need to think about ownership versus licensing in the online and digital world. Need to understand the relationships among people, artifacts, and their interactions.

Take Home Messages
Studying social media is important and you can use NodeXL to study connections and visualize the connections. Very interesting and useful for researchers interested in social media and online social connections. Need to think about things and interactions in order to truly document and preserve the context of our lives and our communities.