Today I’ll be joining a roundtable discussion hosted by the New York Council for the Humanities for its incoming class of public humanities fellows. I was asked to prepare a “top-ten list” for public humanists looking to get started in digtial humanities, and with the help of friends on Twitter, I came up with the following:
10) Enter the circle (read, tweet, blog)
9) Start with partners
8) Attend THATCamp
7) Write grants, not papers
6) Release early and often
5) Stop worrying about the definition of DH
4) Digital is always public
3) Must. Try. New. Things.
2) Break something
1) Lather, rinse, repeat
Instead of explaining this advice in prose, I decided to put together a video. Here it is.
N.B. As my mother always told me, “do as I say, not as I do.”
I have just started listening to an new podcast from the BBC, A History of the World in 100 Objects, written and narrated by Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum. Aside from the obvious reductionism and the occasionally irritating interstitials (lots of ambient chanting and pan flute music), the show is excellent, taking one hundred objects from the British Museum’s collections to tell the history of the world from the point of view of its material culture. MacGregor is a natural, and his guests—fellow curators, historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, and others—are engaging story tellers.
Yet even more interesting from an educational point of view are the live “readings” of artifacts these scholars provide, demonstrating to the audience just how experts tease knowledge from primary source objects. This is much the lesson we at CHNM attempted in our Object of History collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The focus was narrower—six iconic objects in U.S. History—but the idea was the same: objects have histories and their curators very particular expertise in bringing those histories to light.
Last month on the Digital Campus podcast, Mills, Dan, and I offered our take on the top ten stories of 2008 and our predictions for the biggest stories of 2009. As we readily acknowledge, the “top ten” device is a crude one, but it remains a perennial favorite, both among Digital Campus listeners and across the library, museum, and digital humanities blogosphere, as the following roundup of the new year’s “top” lists attests:
I’m sure I’m missing some, and there are tons and tons on the tech industry blogs (e.g. Wired’s Top Technology Breakthroughs of 2008.) Please feel free to add them (yours?) to comments.
Go on. You know you love ’em!
Jeremy finishes up his great how-to series on design process in the digital humanities.
Congratulations to Mark Tebeau and his colleagues at Cleveland State’s Center for Public History and Digital Humanities on their very well designed new website. I especially like the “collaborate” tab in the main navigation.
Pastigo geolocates information about historical sites and provides historical travel planning tools.
Great Cereals of All Time. A Dipity timeline of all your breakfast favorites. Like Mikey, I’m a Life man myself.
Wikihistory is a short science fiction story about a group of future time travelers’ journeys to the mid-20th century. Structured as a series of posts to a message board or wiki, Wikihistory is good mix of alternative history and science fiction, which in several ways again makes the point that science fiction is often just history in disguise. (Thanks Rob and Feeds.)
Ken sends Yahoo’s list of the ten most historically inaccurate movies. Granted, all of them—Braveheart, The Patriot, Gladiator, 300—have their problems. But it would be very easy to find ten more egregious offenders than these.
Curacao, Triple Sec, Cointreau, Grand Marnier? Confused about the difference or trying to decide which tipple to use in your Cosmo? A London “cocktail enthusiast” provides relief with a short history of orange liqueurs.
How to make a Leyden jar out of a two-liter Coke bottle, from MAKE Magazine.
Top Ten Moments in Sitcom History. I think you’d have to put Lucy and Ethel’s stint at the conveyor belt at the top of the table, but a good list nevertheless. (Thanks, Jerm.)
Prolific “junior ranger” Chance Finegan on the history of Mt. Rainier National Park.
Keeping with my management kick, here are 14lessons from 37signals for good digital project management and organizational development.
A Year Before is a WordPress plugin allowing users to display titles of articles posted n number of days ago. Its developers suggest using it in a “historical corner” to show “what happened in your blog e.g. 30 days, 6 months or a year before.”
Tenspotting. Chock full of “best ever” lists.
28 Weird Al Yankovic Parodies (1983-2006). Speaks for itself. Unfortunately, all the video links have been removed from YouTube.
It has been a while since I posted in the Tops of All Time category. That isn’t because it’s any less popular. Here are a few (“bad”) examples:
The 25 Most Ridiculous Band Names in Rock History
The 10 Most Ludicrous Moments in The History of 24
It has been a while since I posted something in the Tops of All Time series, but I noticed two recent articles in PC World that fit the bill. The first is a wistful look back at the 10 Worst PCs of All Time. The second lists the 50 Best Tech Products of All Time, “those amazing products that changed technology—and our lives—forever.” So what, according to PC World, is “The Beatles,” the “Citizen Cane”, the “Muhammad Ali” of tech products?
(Drum roll, please…)
Netscape 1.0, the browser that launched the dot.com era.
Jottings.com has posted a list of the 100 oldest still-registered .com domains. First on the list: Symbolics.com, which first launched in March 1985. Other early birds include tech giants ATT.com, HP.com, IBM.com and Sun.com and big defense contractors SRI.com, Northrop.com, and Lockheed.com.