The Design of an International Social Media Event: A Day in the Life of the Digital Humanities

Geoffrey Rockwell, Megan Meredith-Lobay, Kamal Ranaweera, Stan Ruecker, Julianne Nyhan, Peter Organisciak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A Day in the Life of the Digital Humanities (Day of DH) is a community documentation project that brings together digital humanists from around the world to document what they do on one day, typically March 18. The goal of the project, which has been run three times since 2009, is to bring together participants to reflect on the question, "Just what do computing humanists really do?" To do this, participants document their day through photographs and commentary using one of the Day of DH blogs set up for them. The collection of these journals (with links, tags, and comments) is, after editing, made available online. This paper discusses the design of this social project, from the ethical issues raised to the final web of journals and shares some of the lessons we have learned. One of the major challenges of social media is getting participation. We made participating easy by personally inviting a seed group, choosing an accessible technology, maintaining a light but constant level of communication prior to the event, and asking only for a single day of commitment. In addition, we tried to make participation at least rewarding in formal academic terms by structuring the Day of DH as a collaborative publication. In terms of improvements, we have over the iterations changed the handling ethics clearances for images and connected to other social media like Twitter.\r\n\r\n
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDigital Humanities Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012


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