As my first ever #DayofDH comes to a close, the work is only beginning. Even though I am still chanting to myself that this new site will be better than any of the others, it’s still a daunting task to face, especially with a deadline looming. I’m still entering metadata for a large number of my images in KORA and I’m not sure what this site is going to look like when I launch in a few weeks. So, tonight, while one deadline was extended, I find myself with another daunting task ahead. So, goodnight fellow DHers! I’ve enjoyed your insights and your descriptions of your daily tasks. It’s back to KORA and metadata and WordPress (oh my!) For a graduate student, it seems the day of [insert theme here] always continues into night.
So, I’m still relatively new to the whole DH thing. I kind of stumbled into last spring when I decided to apply for a CHI fellowship. And now, I LOVE IT. Even though today is the #DayofDH, for me, every day is really a DH day.
I am working on two (maybe, three) projects that are digitally-based right now, and I’m really getting a lot out of it. I’m producing work that I’m proud of and that is useful for lots of folks, not just myself or my colleagues in academia. And these projects have also been influenced and enhanced by the contributions of others.
I’ve written about digital collaboration before (on my personal blog), but I am still pleasantly surprised and inspired by the willingness of scholars (most of whom I have never met before) from around the world (Europe, Africa, the Middle East, etc.) who have offered me priceless insights, time, and materials to help make my projects, and Imbiza in particular, the best that they can be.
But digital pathways have also allowed me to develop other projects–one’s that are not born-digital. For example, I am working on a research project on an 18th-century slave ship right now and am receiving help from a number of scholars based in both the United States and South Africa–ok, maybe I’m making a map with Visualeyes to go with the research paper, but still. Although we’re just using email, this is still a kind of engagement with scholars that I would not be able to enjoy without virtual connections.
So, on this #DayofDH, why don’t you…………………..
and think about how academic scholarship can be fostered digitally?
So, I have been working on a digital repository of the 2010 World Cup since October. I recently got a version of the site up and running that I really liked both visually and organizationally. It looked kind of like this:
Last Thursday, I got access to a test version of a plugin for KORA that is pretty key to my project’s entire functionality. When I tried to activate the plugin, I got a pretty major error that caused me to have to reinstall my site, which now looks like this:
So, on this #DayofDH, it’s time to rebuild. This will be the third iteration of my site and it’s only gotten better every time that I’ve had to start from scratch, so this version (I’m telling myself) will be the best one yet.
But these kind of setbacks and frustrations are part of what DH is all about. Stumbling, cussing (A LOT from this potty-mouthed Southerner), learning from your mistakes and moving forward. So that’s what I’m going to do! As we say in isiZulu, phambili!
So, I’m starting my day with coffee (lots of coffee) and Twitter!
I’ll also be browsing some of my favorite sites, including Mail & Guardian (minus the Pistorius coverage, please), Africa Is A Country, and ESPN (well, this isn’t part of my normal routine but I didn’t get to watch the championship last night, so I wanted to catch up)! I’ll also probably chat with my buddy (and fellow Day of DH-er) Jill Kelly via Skype at some point!
So, I guess I’ll follow the trend and provide a little preview of what I plan to do for Day of DH tomorrow.
- Working on my Cultural Heritage Informatics Project, IMBIZA
- Developing lectures for my online course, “The Culture of Sports in South Africa,” that I am developing for Peter Alegi’s South African History in a Digital Age Course
- Mapping the voyage of The Mercury slave ship using MapBox
More to come tomorrow!