Author Archives: jaajohnson

I took a look at the study titled “Twitter in Local Government: a Study of Greater London Authorities.”

The study looked at LA (local authorities) in the London area and their use of Twitter. The paper began by saying that government officials using Twitter is growing, and it may be of some importance. After all, Obama has over 10 million followers on Twitter… That’s gotta be changing society in some way, shape, or form!  Important context in which Twitter has been used in regards to the authoritative sector is campaigns, deliberation and information sharing of governmental authorities. Some of the most important repercussions of this Twitter use is seen in the increased transparency, openness, and interactivity between public sector and the private individual.

The study analyzed 29 accounts of local authorities with variations such as the number of followers, their personal methods of use, and the extent to which they personally communicate with others. It also compared the types of relationships that developed and the popularity of the authorities using Twitter in relation to the mechanics of use.

They found that politicians devoted limited attention on the conversational elements of Twitter and tended to develop asymmetrical relationships.There is a correlation to date of joining and use of Twitter conventions such as hashtags or retweeting. They noticed that politicians were using the “culture” that Twitter had to offer. Often times the Tweets from the authorities were updates or issues concerning local life. This is important because it relates the people to the politicians in a much more personal way. The author said, “Twitter seems to match the promise of supporting new forms of citizen-government interactions in ways which have not been previously reported in the empirical literature.” So Twitter is definitely supporting more of a people oriented approach to the way we interact with government officials. Unfortunately, the relationships are usually still one-sided, meaning the officials don’t follow many people back. It’s a great thing, but they really are not as interconnected as they could be.


Hey! Hey! Hey! Check it out! This is really neat! The first video here is probably just going to be the re-iteration of what you already know. It’s the founder of Twitter talking about what it is, how it started, and some of the possible implications  It’s an older video and its worth watching just to see how fast things have changed. The video that I really recommend watching is the second one. It is, to me, one of the best examples of DH. It’s fascinating, and it’s about how social media can, and is, changing the world. Both are only 8 minutes, and watching a video is easier than reading. If you have time for only one, watch the second!

The author begs the question: is Twitter beneficial to scholars, especially during a live conference, or is it disruptive?

What I gathered from the paper was that using a backchannel such as Twitter during a conference is beneficial because communication can be achieved without interrupting the presenter, the main source of live communication. Through the utilization of Twitter, questions can be asked and answered as well as the introduction of new sources and references all during a live, up to date feed that does not interrupt the speaker. Using a backchannel for communication, such as Twitter, allows the audience to communicate.

Tweets from a conference were collected via specific hashtags then analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. They were sorted via username and number of posts per user as well as by the content of the post and put into specific categories. Categories included: “comments on presentations; sharing resources; discussions and conversations; jotting down notes; establishing an online presence; and asking organizational questions. Tweets which were highly ambiguous were placed in an Unknown category.”

The study found that in the Tweets, mostly monologues were posted. But there were, however, a few intermittent conversations between users. Quantitative numbers provided were examples such as 6.7% was re-tweets, and 45% of tweets were directed @(at) other users. They did discover that the majority of Tweets were notes about the conference.

Finally, they brought up the distinction between unofficial and official backchannels. The article discussed how new users or members of the discipline may not be able to participate in the discussions because they might not be included in the groups.  Overall backchannels are beneficial.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t made it too far on my own personal manifesto. I know what it is supposed to consist of, but I’m still having trouble solidifying some ideas. I plan to incorporate my own definitions and ideas of what digital humanities is and where I see it might be going as well as my own personal goals and ideas into the manifesto. I also plan to quote, reference, or cite (not sure which?) in my own manifesto. I think using outside sources will both strengthen the document as well as my own ideas. I’m not quite sure how I’m going to add visuals, if I’m going to do something similar to the Digital Humanities Manifesto 2.0, or if I’ll just add pictures… or somehow figure out how to incorporate a video into a manifesto… not really sure. I do know that it will take several drafts and re-thinks before I’m confident in the final product. As I continue to write my own manifesto I think new ideas will come to me and it will help solidify what I’m really after. 

Is “The Landscape of Digital Humanities” a manifesto? Well, to answer this question I’d have to know exactly what a manifesto is. The tricky thing here is that manifestos can take on so many different forms. They can be collaborative or personal. They can express beliefs or ideas in a multitude of different ways. They can be a page long or, like Svensson, can be written like an epic. The fact that they can be so many different things makes it difficult to discern what is and what isn’t a manifesto.

Admittedly, I am not crystal clear myself on what a manifesto is. Although we looked at multiple examples in class, each one was different in their own way. I can, however, see a pattern from them. They set up their topics before they tackle them. For example, the manifestos lay out a definition of what it is the document will be about. It summarizes a few assumptions and then delves a little further. 

Now, let’s take a look at Svensson’s document. He starts off with an abstract. Okay, so we get an idea of what this is going to be about… manifestos have that. He then moves into an introduction and sets us up for the paper. After that, he moves on to the outline. wait… an outline after the introduction? At this point we can tell that it is not a traditional essay. As we progress through the paper we can see that the author breaks it down into opinionated, yet educated, aspects of digital humanities. He makes arguments and claims and tries to define the digital humanities.

So is it a manifesto? Well, based off of my little experience with manifestos I would argue that it is… and isn’t. It is a public declaration for his beliefs and he incorporates well his own experiences. It did feel almost like a novel to me, and somewhat preachy. How do we draw the line between personal essays and manifestos? It wasn’t extremely formal, does that matter at all? 

I think it is a manifesto(ish). 

So in the academic journal that I talked about in my previous post I found an article that says online education is more effective through the use of virtual worlds. The study found that students were more satisfied with their online education and retained more information through the use of virtual worlds such as Second Life as a tool for education. Weird, eh?

World of Warcraft. Yes, I used to play this game. A lot.  However, when I got to college last year I realized how huge of a time waster it really was. To me, it was just a hobby. It was always so much fun. Last year I had the opportunity to study the economics within the game as a class project. So naturally, the assigned readings this week were fascinating to me! Never before have I considered WoW (World of Warcraft) as a topic of scholarly study! I’ve easily put in over a month of cumulative play time (720 hours) into the game, and many of the 9 million players have logged much, much more time than I have. I was actually a fairly “casual” player when it came down to it. But if you want to be competitive with other players, it’s necessary to put in enough time to keep ‘up to date’ with in game equipment and skills. I love that we analyzed games in class. It made me realize that the game is rich with humanities questions that haven’t been addressed yet. This is DH! I actually found out there is an academic journal that studies virtual worlds! Score! Now we can learn what makes this game so addicting. Why do people behave the way they do in games? What are the implications of the massive economy? Image