Posts Tagged ‘social networking’

  • Session: Going Digital with Community History

    1

    In 2009, I began work on the Rochester Oral History (ROHA) Project, an initiative to collect oral histories of Rochester residents (ages 55 and over) that emphasizes web-enabled sharing. Residents are invited to participate in the project by sharing memories connected to local historical sites, events, communities, individuals and institutions. Oakland University students enrolled in first-year composition courses with a community-engagement component are invited to participate in the project as researchers. Funded by a grant from Building the Civic Net (a local philanthropic organization) and the Meadow Brook Writing Project, with resources and support from the Department of Writing and Rhetoric at Oakland University, the ROHA mission includes making technology accessible to seniors, building a resource for citizens of all ages involved in local history projects, and engaging college students in digital archiving.

    This project depends on social media presence (Facebook and Twitter) for delivery, and presents special challenges and opportunities that I would like to explore, including the relationship (or conflicts or tensions) between digital delivery and traditional archiving. Maximizing old-media channels and ethos-building remain important components of the project, and I continue to seek ways to generate visibility, create value, and build relationships with community organizations, leaders and citizens.

    I would like to explore the ways that social media might create new audiences, new connections, and new delivery opportunities for community history projects.  In addition, the relationships between local physical archives and these digital endeavors present opportunities for shared work. For example, the Rochester Hills Museum has agreed to archive the ROHA oral histories, ensuring their preservation. How does “instant” digital accessibility impact the value of the contributed histories? I would like to participate in a session that covers starting a community project from the ground up, and share the encountered obstacles and serendipities. What kind of issues should mark the “end” of the project, and what does “the end” mean for a digital archive project?

  • To Crowdsource or Not to Crowdsource? That is the Question.

    2

    The proliferation of social media and social bookmarking tools such as Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Delicious and LinkedIn bring unprecedented reach to academics and practitioners searching for information. However, the advantages of speed and reach come with the disadvantages of the unknown. Do we know who we’re listening to? Do we know they’re providing the best resources for the job? I propose this session as a look at the advantages and disadvantages of crowdsourcing in the humanities, and a discussion amongst participants about their experiences with social media, including their triumphs and stumbles.

    +++

  • Engaged Cultural Heritage Development, Archaeology, and Digital Social Media

    0

    The MSU Campus Archaeology Program was established to make sure that MSU serves as a good steward towards their cultural and archaeological resources. We are called in to mitigate before any tree is planted or building is built. Our primary goals include the research of MSU’s past, teaching students about archaeology, and engaged cultural heritage development within and around the MSU community.  Over the past year, the MSU Campus Archaeology Program has been utilizing digital social media as a means for engaging communities in our archaeological research. Utilizing Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and blogging, we have been able to share the process of excavation, methodology, analysis, and interpretation with the communities that we serve.

    We consider traditional public archaeology, which typically consists of site visits and museum exhibits, to be lacking in a number of qualities that keep it from being “engaged”. Communities are rarely encouraged to take part, or even to see, the process that goes from excavation to presentation. Digital social media has allowed us to keep the public informed and engaged in what we are doing in a number of ways. Real-time excavation posting on Twitter and Facebook have allowed us to show and tell the decisions we make in the field and to share the discovery of artifacts with the public. Photos on Flickr and blog posts provide an opportunity to share our research methods, discuss our findings, and provide explanations about how we draw the conclusions that we do. Lastly, social media allows for all of these elements to be two-way: the community has the opportunity to engage with us at any moment. They can ask questions of us while we are in the field, post comments to Facebook, Flickr, or our Blog asking us questions about our decision making, or anything else that is on their mind regarding our topics.

    I am hoping to discuss our methods in how they may be applied to other areas of public, engaged academic services. Additionally, I am hoping that new ideas may be brought to the table about how these technologies may be utilized. The very recent popularity of location-based social media, for example, has sparked our interest. Our primary focus will be on using technology to engage communities in the development of their cultural heritage.

    In the meantime, please see what we’re up to by following, fanning, contacting, subscribing, or what have you!

  • Using Analytics Apps to Analyze Digital Humanities Projects’ Social Networking Efforts

    6

    Many digital humanities projects use social networking to meet goals such as expanding their audience base and exciting both new and existing audiences about content.  As a researcher at MATRIX working on the Quilt Index, www.quiltindex.org, an online resource providing access to images and metadata for around 50,000 (and counting) historic and contemporary quilts, I’ve spearheaded an aggressive social media campaign aimed at expanding and engaging audience.

    Like me, you may already have a fair amount of experience using social media to engage audiences with a digital humanities project.  But you may be wondering:

    • Are my social networking efforts as effective as they could be?
    • How can analytics apps help me focus my social media campaign and more clearly define my audience goals?
    • How can I use information about social networking successes in my project’s future grant writing?
    • What are some simple changes I can make to my regular social networking routine to help achieve better results?

    If these questions sound familiar, this session is for you!  This discussion should be of use to anyone who has done social networking with a digital humanities project, but wants to use (or use more effectively) one or more of the many analytics applications out there to improve their social media campaign, and even to find fodder for grants.

    I’d like to begin by talking about how I have used analytics such as Insights [Facebook] and WeFollow and Klout [Twitter] to expand and internationalize the Quilt Index’s audience through social media, and how staff at any digital humanities project can use social networking analytics apps to gauge how well they are meeting their audience goals.  I hope that the group will generate the bulk of the session, sharing info about other social networking analytics applications out there and brainstorming other ways that digital humanities projects can make the best use of social networking apps.