Well, I’m off to a conference today, in case you’d all forgotten. (I appear not to have plugged it much lately. Very remiss of me.) Below is the abstract for my paper and a few (!) links I’ve put together, some of which may be used to string together my “ideas”, and some of which are just things I happened upon while reading. Comments welcome, especially if they prove the thesis that interactivity is the coolest thing on the planet.
Digital History 2.0? Collaboration, community and interactivity in the digitisation of history
One of the loudest buzzwords of the last few years has been “Web 2.0”. There’s much debate over exactly what this means, but at the core of the concept is the ideal of dynamic content, interactivity and participation by web audiences. Wikipedia is perhaps the most (in)famous example so far, while newspapers are falling over themselves to allow readers of their websites to have their say. But does all this offer anything useful for historians? It has been suggested that ‘interactive’ digital history might transform historical practice, creating ‘new forms of collaboration, new modes of debate, and new modes of collecting evidence about the past’. The National Archives has set up a community wiki to draw on the experience of researchers in order to extend and expand on its online catalogue and digital content; there are growing numbers of online archives, such as the new Great War Archive, built entirely or substantially on public contributions of written texts, images, oral histories, and so on. The Old Bailey Proceedings Online has attracted a wide range of researchers – academics and non-academics alike – since its inception, many of whom have accumulated specialised knowledge that could enrich the site as a resource. This paper explores the potential benefits – and possible pitfalls – of opening up digital history resources to user-generated content and metadata.
What is Web 2.0? (Tim O’Reilly)
Also Picture Australia
Digital History (Dan Cohen and Roy Rosenzweig)
The Pirate Problem (Dan Cohen)
Digitisation and its discontents (Antony Grafton)
The changing role of intellectual authority (Peter Nicholson)
Ontology is overrated (Clay Shirky)
Broad and narrow folksonomies (Thomas Vander Wal)
Folksonomy: social classification (Gene Smith)
Folksonomies/metadata ecologies (Louis Rosenfeld)
Collaborative Transcription and Annotation