Creative Amnesia

Inventing the digital future

Busy new year!

Posted by giorgioguzzetta on 3 January 2012

Melody Dworak, a graduate student somewhere in the US (Iowa, I think. Where is that, btw?), wrote a list of 10 New Year’s Resolution for Digital Humanists. I am not enthusiastic about new year’s resolutions list, but I will make an exception in this case.

Here is Melody’s list, with some added comments from me:

1) Find like-minded colleagues on Twitter or Google+

• Follow

• Be followed (go public!)

• Microblog daily

• Engage in conversations at least once per week

I have to say that I am following a lot of people already, in many different social networks:, Facebook, Twitter… Microblogging daily and engage in weekly conversations is another matter. I will try to do that… What means microblogging exactly, anyway? Does Twitter count, or you have to use Tumblr?

Besides, more than microblogging daily, a real challenge would be to use it creatively, for instance creating your own tweeting style, with rhyme and everything…

2) Start that research blog you’ve been envisioning

• WordPress can build a simple self-publishing website

• Blogger serves basic blogging functions and easy for those who already have a Google account

• Tumblr makes for easy re-blogging and microblogging through online social networks

• Need an archives-based exhibition online space? Check out Omeka.

I am not new to blogging. I used it for several years, using fake names most of the time (no, I am not going to reveal them…) and now I have one here, as you can see… I intend to use it to discuss issues related to Digital Humanities in general and also my specific research.

3) Hug a developer (who needs an excuse?)

Nice! Where can I find one?

4) Learn what the heck makes people love Tumblr or Pintrest (a.k.a. explore another social media tool conducive to meeting new colleagues–pseudonymously or real-named–and new ideas.)

Does this means that I have to open another account on Tumblr or Pintrest? Not so sure…

5) Flesh out the information architecture of your new research blog

• What tabs or basic navigation do you want? Do you answer those basic journalistic questions of Who, What, Where, When, and Why?

• Do you give yourself enough credit without becoming a target for a Humblebrag? (We don’t need to know about your 4.0, but titles, honors, and fellowships are newsworthy enough.)

• Do you identify what it is that interests you and who you’re looking to engage with?

Who, What, Where, When, and Why.. When? now! Why? good question! I might write a post on it in the future.

6) Follow along with an Academic Earth class about programming. Have access to classes through your university? Try out a XML tutorial!

I will try to resurrect my secondary school computer training with MIT opencourseware. And I will do some coursework on XML for sure. Starting with TEI by Example tutorials

7) Blog about your research once per week

This is on my list.

8) Feeling ambitious? Enroll in a free Stanford University online course like Natural Language Processing or Human-Computer Interaction. You may get a statement of accomplishment!

I enrolled in Human-Computer Interaction, but I am not sure I will be able to cope with it. This are the first one I will drop.

9) Learn Gephi for data visualization experiments

This also is on my list.

10) Submit and present your DH research at a conference! Microblogging and blogging are great ways to get feedback as your work develops, but presenting IRL to colleagues raises the ante.

As soon as I will have a better idea of what I am doing, I will present it. I will be working for four years on the topic, so there is time…

Se son rose, fioriranno… Busy new year to everybody!



I just came across another post on new years digital highlighting “one of the pivotal circumstances of all digital humanists: learning technology”, and in particular learn to code. He mentioned an interesting website, CodeAcademy, and their initiative to declare 2012 the CodeYear:

Luckily, a new initiative could help us all out with this (probably daunting) task. CodeAcademy, a free online tool that provides sets of programming lessons in an easy-to-use, browser-based interface, recently began CodeYear, an initiative to help people learn to code strongly and confidently in the course of one year. As of this writing, almost 300,000 people have signed up for the weekly assignments that are sent to your email address.

I will follow Alex Leavitt timely advice and make 2012 my year of code!


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