Category Archives: definitions

Over the course of this semester, my classmates and I have been posting on this blog, referring to the assignments given in our Critical Approach to Digital Humanities hybrid class. This was not my first time blogging for a class, but I still had/have much to learn about it. For my open posts I mainly chose memes, websites, and news articles that related to my knowledge of the Digital Humanities. My most important goal is to make a definition of what I think DH is, and this class has helped me get closer to reaching my goal by forcing to do my own research, but the blog helped me see what my classmates were discovering and I found that to be very helpful. Using the blog for class assignments was also helpful in improving my public writing and developing my voice.

A few of my beginning post were not very detailed and it resulted in comments that had questions asking me to further explain what my post is about. After “practicing” posting and reading other’s post, it became easier for me to see what type of information was necessary to have a blog post that was brief but still very clear about the reasoning and idea of the over all post. This open post from the beginning of the class is an example of somewhere that I really could have gotten into depth. Instead I just assumed that my audience would know where the image came from, what my thoughts were on it, and how it relates to DH. The image was simply from a Google search and I was drawn to it because I saw it as a visual definition what I think to be Digital Humanities. The photo is representing a classroom and the volume symbol is showing that it is virtual. I could have expanded even further by relating it our hybrid class that is participating on this very blog. Those that go to class and those who are online students never meet, but on the blog, it feels to me at least, that we are all the same. For example, I am just as likely to comment on an online students post, as I am to comment on someone’s post that I see in class. When learning is cybernetic, everyone is essentially equal and this reminds me of the open and sharing attitude of the Digital Humanities. Later on I started to find things that reminded me of DH and that also related to my life, like this post with a “Y U NO?” meme. It may not be my prettiest post, but when you read it, you know exactly why I chose that meme. In this post, I made myself vulnerable and shared tweets from my personal feed and account to help demonstrate what I was talking about. In both my open posts and directed post, I slowly built up my voice and also raked through my interests that relate to the Digital Humanities.

When scrolling through my blog posts, there really isn’t much sense of a theme besides the common subject of the Digital Humanities.  I am really still in the beginning staging of understanding the field, but I know that it is right for me because I find almost every part of it fascinating. The multitude of opportunities it has the potential of presenting me, gives me security for the future that I am comfortable with. What interest me the most are the projects that we recently studied; they are what I find to be the most important part of DH. I see social media being a part of DH as well, but I think that it kind of fits into the category because of the big data that it creates. DH has much more potential than just counting the amount of pictures on Facebook and weeding through all of the tweets about an event. Sure these are important aspects of DH and they help us learn about us as a society, but I feel that it almost “cheapens” if you will, the definition of Digital Humanities and it has not yet been set in stone. I see the networking to be an outlet for discoveries. Websites and blogs like ours that are collecting history and information is what drives the success of the field. Being an admin to this blog helped me work on my public writing, but it also helps clear my personal pathway to the definition of Digital Humanities.


<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”; title=”DH Metaphor Project Presentation” target=”_blank”>DH Metaphor Project Presentation</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”; target=”_blank”>kaylablack</a></strong> </div>

I really enjoyed the project that I chose, “The Mind is a Metaphor.” The navigation of the site was very easy for me to learn in a short amount of time. I wish I would have been able to get the Prezi site to work for me because I think I would have been able to  represent how the site works much clearer. There were a number of flaws to the site, but the project its self was a very interesting concept. The blog like format of the site makes sense for that specific project because of the way it is being put together. Brad Pasanek, the brains behind the operation, is working on the project by adding material to the site in a very miscellaneous fashion. The archives can be sorted through by a process of elimination style of  advanced search and this is what I enjoyed most about the project I chose to analyze, aside for the metaphors them selves.

Some of the other projects that were presented in class I also found to be very interesting. Lauren Brooker’s choice of project that was a 911 digital archive was relateble to the entire class because it is a time in history that we were all around to witness. It does not make sense to me why the project has stopped adding material but it is still encouraged to send it in. I think having a digital archive, of that tragic time in our countries history, that is accessible to everyone is a great representation of Digital Humanities. I do not remember Laurens full definition that she gave DH, (somthing along the lines of shared information an learning from it?) but I found it to be very fitting and broad enough to fit almost everything the Digital Humanities has to offer!


Screen Shot 2012-11-30 at 9.37.31 AM

(It wouldn’t let me embed the video or upload to slideshare–here is the link: Speech Accent Archive)

After researching the Speech Accent Archive and listening my classmate’s presentations, I feel like I have gotten one big overview for the definition of DH and how it applies to the real world.  I think each project touched on a different definition or aspect of DH.  Each definition can relate to the “Scholarly Primitives” that John Unsworth wrote about and within each of the primitives, there is a specific connection to DH.  Through my own project—and editing within my peer group—I learned about the influence of technology on the humanities.  In previous years, the humanities would not have been able to reach such a large portion of the population, but the accessibility that comes with the use of technology within a project has allowed the authors to reach a larger portion of people.  The accessibility factor alone makes a huge impact on each project.  Another trend I saw was collaboration; many of the projects allowed for people to submit or add to the project so it was continually being updated.  Humanities prior to the digital age would not have bee amble to accommodate for this type of collaboration because many of the artifacts were printed, making it impossible to add onto a project.  Although the projects could be used as references, the possibility for a project to be out-of-date on a topic was highly likely; however, with the advancements in technology in modern societies, it is more likely that people will have a greater and faster access to information, which leads to more collaboration because each person can submit ideas or share the topic through social media websites or something as simple as e-mail.  Much of the increased accessibility and collaboration of projects today is due to the increasing use of digitalization of the humanities, which influences the whole idea of DH.



Well, the election is over and it was an interesting day. After an encounter with law enforcement and clarification on the difference between exit polling and electioneering, I was finally able to start collecting data. The law is very specific in that campaigners must be at least 100 feet from the entrance to the polls. That would have put me across the street in one direction, in the middle of the street in one direction, and at the end of the block in the other direction. But, I was not a campaigner. The police chief insisted my activities fell under that law. The legal department at Edison Research and the Government Accountability Board had to call the election officials to let them know it was legal for me to be there.  This is what the Government Accountability Board has to say about it exit polling:


What are the rules regarding exit polls?

Wisconsin’s law regulating the conduct of persons on Election Day is designed to ensure that nothing interferes with the orderly conduct of the election, and that nothing distracts voters from exercising their right to vote at the polls on Election Day.    S. 5.35(5), Wis. Stats.

Persons conducting surveys, circulating petitions or engaging in similar activity may not do so inside the polling place, and may not interfere with the orderly conduct of the election.  Electioneering is prohibited within 100 feet of the entrance to a polling place on public property on election day. S. 12.03(2), Wis. Stats.  The Government Accountability Board staff recommends that surveys and other activities should be conducted outside the 100 ft. area where electioneering is prohibited.

Exit polls are surveys conducted by news organizations and others to determine how electors have voted.  Wisconsin law does not prohibit the conduct of exit polls by a news organization.  The Government Accountability Board and its staff have taken the position that exit polls may not be conducted within the building containing the polling place.  It is recommended that persons conducting exit polls do so outside of the entrance to the building containing the polling place.  Exit pollsters do not have to be positioned outside the 100 ft. electioneering area.  However, persons conducting exit polls must not block the entrance or interfere with the access of voters entering and leaving the polling place.

Most people have no idea where the exit poll information was, so they were pretty excited to have input. Some people ‘looked the other way’ and kept on going. This polling place had two entrances, so I was only able to approach about half of the voters. My sampling rate was to approach every voter. I had to record misses and refusals categorized by gender, 3 age-group breaks, and whether they were black or non-black. The questionnaires are confidential – no name was required and the surveys were folded and dropped into a box. At my polling place, the vote was heavily Democrat. Most of the voters who refused were in the older age group (50+).  Their roster lists about 1050 registered voters, 922 people voted.

There were 3 versions of the questionnaire:







































We called in 3 times during the day with the number of voters who had already voted, the counts for Obama and Romney, and the counts for Baldwin and Thompson. We also read the results from a percentage of the surveys. We called in a final vote count at the end of the night. I do want to point out that these surveys were completely voluntary and confidential. Voters were not required to fill them out and answering each question was voluntary.

This is a link to CNN’s take on the exit poll results from Tuesday’s election.


I found this infograph focusing on Facebook vs Twitter. This infograph shows, where the status are coming from, what they are about, and the age of those tweeting/updating. Image

Tweet, Tweet, Retweet: Conversational Aspects of Retweeting on Twitter is a paper by danah boyd, Scott Golder, and Gilad Lotan.  This paper examines retweeting on Twitter. Retweeting doesn’t really seem as popular has using hashtags or @user in your tweets. Since Twitter only allows 140 characters for a tweet, it’s sometimes hard to retweet someone. This paper was published in 2010, so the codes for retweeting have changed. This paper mentions that a retweet looks like this: “RT @user: message.” This raises the problem of possibly having to shorten or delete words when you retweet someone. There’s a term called “disemvoweling,” which means that you can delete some of the vowels in the tweet to shorten it but you are still able to have the same message or idea that the original user tweeted. On danah boyd’s Twitter she asked her followers what some rules of the rules are for retweeting. One user said, “Tweets of 130+ characters are too long to be retweeted.”  Another user said, “You can change whatever seems to not alter the original content.” And finally, some other users agreed that you can delete words that are unnecessary or too wordy or you can shorten words as long as they are “text message style.” On danah’s Twitter, she also asked her followers why and what they retweet. She found that people retweet to gain followers, to promote a cause, to entertain a specific audience, or to start a conversation. They’re retweeting things like time-sensitive material, breaking news, or anything that is fun and entertaining.

I haven’t been using Twitter for very long but I can tell you that things have probably changed over the past two years. Whenever I see one of my followers retweet someone it shows up on my feed like everyone else’s tweets do except at the bottom in small font it says “retweeted by @user.” This is nice because you no longer have to worry about going over that 140 character limit when you retweet someone.