Getting social

NITLE‘s Senior Fellow extraordinaire Bryan Alexander stopped by Dickinson on June 28 to help a working group of faculty staff and administrators crafting a digital humanities grant proposal. As part of his presentation he kindly gave us some expert feedback on the DCC site. He liked the design very much and appreciated the foregrounding of our editorial committee, but pointed out that out current design is not very mobile-friendly; that the search field is rather hidden and inadequate; and that the site itself is not interactive. And he asked what we were doing to promote awareness of the site, to which I didn’t have much of an answer.

Bryan’s main suggestion on that front was to create more of a presence in social media. I had been intending to do this, but hadn’t really focused on how important it is if the site is actually going to get used. There’s a lot going on in the interweb, and you can’t just sit back and assume the relevant audience will find you. I started up a new DCC Facebook page, and a Twitter feed (@DCComm) as well. I must say I am much more comfortable on FB than on Twitter. But the classical Twitterati are very energetic and supportive, and I’m starting to understand why people like the medium.

As for getting word out in a more traditional way, I will be speaking in several places in the fall on the DCC and the Digital Humanities principles that drive it: The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Sept. 14), The University of Virginia (Sept. 22 and 23), The University of Pennsylvania (October 18), and in Amsterdam at the European Society for Textual Scholarship’s 2012 conference ‘Editing Fundamentals’ (November 22-24). I am very much looking forward to all the feedback and suggestions I will get, and am hoping to lure some more collaborators into the project as well.

–Chris Francese

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