Illness stops play

My Day of DH was a bit different to what I had expected due to a sudden and horrible attack by the nasty norovirus. I had a really interesting day planned, but had to fire off emails in between being disgustingly ill rearranging meetings.

So not to miss out on DH action, I thought I’d reveal what has been popping into my inbox whilst I have been in my sick bed, this gives a overview of what I would have been up to had I been fighting fit.

First off, is an email with some comments about our first Decoding Digital Humanities meeting which was great fun.   Myself and my colleague (Kathryn) are relatively new to the world of Digital Humanities and we thought it would be great to get together with other people interested in DH so we can share ideas, experiences and questions with others to explore together (lets face it a crew is always better than just you) the concept of DH and what it means to be a Digital Humanist, so we set up a informal group, Decoding Digital Humanities as a place where anyone can come to find out more about the latest ideas in and about digital humanities. The first meeting proved to be a great success, I think. The meetup got a lot of discussion going about cultural materialism, the differences between visual and textual, equality between Computer Science and Humanities. and a lack of theoretical underpinning.  I hope the next one will be just a interesting!

There’s a couple of emails off potential speakers for a event I’m helping to organise about the academic worth of web 2.0 and social media in May.  Which looks to be really exciting.

There’s an email from a phd student about our (UCLDH) paper about the Digital Humanities use of Twitter, which is currently being revised following the first round of peer review comments, this is my first peer reviewed paper and I have so much to learn about the world of academia and what rules I should adhere to and what rules to bend….

I should be working on a research report about the use of Institutional Repositories and the potential impact of a cross repository search with particular focus on usability and functionality. The report is based on investigative interviews and an online survey with a variety of repository managers, concerning the development of their repositories and their opinions on how a unified system of cross repository searching will enhance access and promote new modes of academic communication and collaboration.  This is one part of the LinkSphere project the other focuses on academic use of social networking. Next week I will be embarking on a series of usability observation sessions testing a prototype.  I’m really looking forward to doing some usability testing, but I’m going to have to curb my nodding in agreement in case I bias the results!

Outside of UCLDH, I have some bits and pieces to do for the Digital Learning Network, of which I’m a committee member.  The Digital Learning Network (DLNet for short) has just recently relaunched, it was previously the e-Learning Group for Museums, Libraries and Archives. We’re really excited about the new direction things are taking.  The idea was to go back to basics and just get people talking about technology and learning in museums, archives and libraries. The reason being that there are so many people whose job involves some kind of educational/digital role, but who don’t have a network and really depend on colleagues and informal relationships to share information about new developments.  It has been a hive of activity and I am really excited about the new direction the Network is headed.

I love digital things and museums and I love that my life is surrounded by new and exciting things, long may it continue.

And that would have been my day of DH, if illness hadn’t stopped play.