Wikidot and Workshop Planning

I am on the program committee of the North Eastern Workshop on Southern Africa (NEWSA), an interdisciplinary gathering of scholars  who work on southern Africa. The workshop meets every 18 months and our eleventh gathering is coming up in October 2014! The workshop is coordinated by a program committee that solicits abstracts and organizes panels while a local arrangements committee makes sure…local arrangements… are in order. All of these committee members are spread out around the globe and most of our organizing takes places via email. Perhaps the most intensive work surrounds the acceptance and organization of papers and panels. The abstracts came in last month, so now the committee turns its attention to vetting them over the next few weeks. (Thus, I’m working on it this afternoon and sharing my experience with #DayofDH.) Enter Wikidot. I am new to the committee and also new to Wikidot. But Wikidot has been easy to learn and the advantages countless, particularly since an earlier committee member set up our Wikidot with easy to use instructions. newsa instructions Someone from the committee uploads all of the paper and panel abstracts to Wikidot. Wikidot allows us to tag them with themes and start thinking about possible panel organization from the get-go. Fullscreen capture 482014 20839 PM.bmp Then others from the committee log-in and review, using +/- buttons to rate them and the comment feature to share more in-depth opinions. It allows us all to work on our own schedules while meeting our own deadline to get them reviewed. It is a great tool for collaboration, organization, and decision making.