Week 5 summary – discussions

Weekly Summary-Week 5

This week V and me are going to do the weekly summaries and thanks to Vern for creating a discussion board on Canvas early this week! I will be mainly trying to summarize the project proposals and tweets of our Digital Humanities cohort for this week. There are 12 very interesting and challenging proposals posted into our Canvas dashboard. And here they go:

LC: The purpose of this project is to create an interactive website that will serve as an online pedagogical space for the critical analysis of the rhetorics of postracism in media.

CP: This project uses the Scalar platform to address the subculture of Alternative Blacks connecting mostly online, through blogs, Facebook groups, and Tumblr, among others.

BS: Through the Scalar platform traces how ISIS creates deadly cyber geographies by promoting “terror talks” around the world through social media, such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter (the processes of blogging, hacking, tweeting etc.)

FZ: Uses the Scalar platform to take a resource mobilization perspective to look at the Hong Kong umbrella movement and, how symbols and aesthetic elements in the movement (like yellow umbrella and yellow ribbon) helped mobilize resources like funds, human labor, and space.

JD: This project describes the work involved in creating JD’s video resume for the TOMS Global Giver Dream Job and the communication JD has received from the TOMS Corporation.

VC: This project will be a storify article which collects, situates, and interprets people’s experiences of playing the game Gone Home that they posted on certain social media platforms.

EB: This project aims to create a supplementary web-based game used for an intercultural communication, transnational feminist studies, and/or cultural studies course.

SC: This project aims at constructing a website to teach about and focus on the stepparent-stepchild relationship and the stigma that is present with the title of “stepmother” or “stepfather”.

SL: Project on building a website devoted to helping individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder with a main focus to provide support, resources and tools that are centered around creative/alternative therapeutic methods.

KM: Against the usual norm of mass media showing people who are overwhelmingly white, straight, able-bodied, thin, cisgender, young, etc., KM creates a blog as an attempt to show some of the ways Tumblr can be a site for expanding the variety of representations to which we are exposed.

BB: Project to create a personal website on digital humanities and pedagogy for teaching classes by using the tool Wix.

DC: Project to create a “map of shame” that informs scholars/those interested about official rape statistics of all 28 Indian states (last 3 years data) and acts as a resource center where they can find detailed rape statistics for each state, watch relevant short video clips and find clickable links to relevant scholarly articles and news articles relating to rapes in India with emphasis on how messages are communicated, media effects, media agenda and other agendas etc. Digital tool, yet to be finalized.

Our #dhcrit tweets for this week include topics ranging from the myriad collaborative options of Wikipedia and Scalar as digital/online tools, to the most recent tragic Charleston shooting and racial profiling, and also about gender stereotyping within gaming.

Summary for Week 5

The students enrolled in BGSU’s Critical Theories in Digital Humanities course provided miniature proposal of their final projects for this week. The final project assignment is to produce and curate a digital humanities project such as a website, blog, or video, etc. The students may choose their platform of choice, but popular options have been Scalar, Storify, Tumblr, and WordPress. Students also made sure to incorporate the readings we have done over the semester on the theory and practice of digital humanities. These readings manifest through critical attention to themes of race, gender, class, and other power dynamic and social forces. Specific brief project descriptions follow:

  • LC has titled their project very descriptively so I will just copy it here: “Developing an Online Pedagogical Space for the Critical Analysis of the Rhetorics of Postracism in Media.”
  • CP “will be using the Scalar platform to address the subculture of Alternative Blacks.”
  • BS “use the Scalar platform for my final project to trace how ISIS creates deadly geographies around the world through its “terror talks.”’
  • FZ “will also be using the Scalar platform for my project of the Hong Kong Umbrella movement.”
  • JD “will be describing the work involved in creating my video resume for the TOMS Global Giver Dream Job and the communication I have received from the TOMS corporation as I have been a part of this ongoing digital project.”
  • VC will make “a storify article which collects, situates, and interprets people’s experiences of playing the game Gone Home that they posted on certain social media platforms. This game is significant in certain communities of gamers because of it woman-centered play and storyline and the centralizing of a queer coming of age story.”
  • EB will “create a supplementary web-based game used for either an intercultural communication, transnational feminist studies, and/or cultural studies course. For the purpose of this project, I am going to primarily focus on transnational feminist studies since it most aligns with my research.”
  • SC “will be constructing a website to teach about and focus on the stepparent-stepchild relationship and the stigma that is present with the title of “stepmother” or “stepfather”. The purpose of this space is to raise awareness about the rising number of blended families in the US.”
  • STL will build “a website devoted to helping individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder.”
  • KM is making a tumblr; “My goal with this project is to showcase something I think Tumblr does really well, which is provide alternatives to mass media images.”
  • BB says “I have expressed my frustration several times this semester about the lack of material about digital humanities and pedagogy. This frustration stems partially from the content we read and partially from Brier’s chapter that explained there is a larger problem with pedagogy in the field of Digital Humanities. To address this issue, I plan to use Wix to create a personal website that will be used for many of the classes I will teach.”
  • DC will “create a “map of shame” that informs scholars/those interested about official rape statistics of all 28 Indian states (last 3 years data) and acts as a resource center where they can find detailed rape statistics for each state, watch relevant short video clips and find clickable links to relevant scholarly articles and news articles relating to rapes in India with emphasis on how messages are communicated, media effects, media agenda and other agendas etc.”

Week four wikipedia work summary

In Week 4, the class seems to be more comfortable with the basics of Wiki editing. Now that we’re all able to make basic edits, look at the history of a page, cite sources, and other basic tasks, we’ve moved to asking larger questions: What sources are considered authoritative? What does it mean to add a page to a “portal” about a subject, or leave it out of the portal? If the choice is between leaving information that could be useful to others, or cutting it because it doesn’t fit the stated aims of Wikipedia, is cutting it the right choice? How can we discuss a controversial question without either revealing a bias toward a particular viewpoint, or giving too much emphasis to a fringe viewpoint in the interest of balance?

 

Each of us has a different approach to deciding which pages to edit. Some focus on a single, long page that has a lot of information about a topic we feel we have expertise in. Some enjoy the thankless but important work of copy editing for style and grammar, making the pages easier for future readers to understand. Some travel randomly around Wikipedia, finding small but important changes such as adding citations, removing outdated information, or adding internal links to other Wikipedia pages. There are also a variety of approaches to the Wikipedia community. Some are willing to wade in and edit controversial, widely read pages, where correct information may be more essential. Others are more wary of spending a lot of time editing a page that already has attracted many editors, who might disagree and replace your edits, opting instead to improve less notable pages that may be neglected otherwise.

 

One sentiment voiced by many people this week is surprise at how little the pages actually seem to be monitored by more experienced Wikipedia editors. When looking back over our previous three weeks of edits, surprisingly few appear to have been assessed as breaking one of the many many rules. Even those who are actively seeking dialogue with other editors of a page have not always been successful. Perhaps this means they were assessed and accepted, but it seems that many of us are waiting for some kind of official stamp of approval, which Wikipedia doesn’t appear to offer in a systematic way. Approval may be inferred when another editor changes things on the page, without altering the information we added, but with some less-visited pages this might take a long time. As inexperienced editors, this sense of uncertainty about whether our efforts will be accepted in the long term can be a barrier to spending a lot of time and effort on editing a page.

Week Four tweets summary

Tweet Summary

Week 4

June 12, 2015

SC: Internet as art? Rachel Greene identifies many different Internet art forms and shows the powerful influence that gaming can have #DHCrit

SC: Internet art demonstrates that there can be a much deeper meaning to games than is often ascribed to them. #DHCrit (Links to an external site.)

JD: Cool DH question fromdhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/32 (Links to an external site.): Can an algorithm edit a journal? #dhcrit (Links to an external site.)”

JD: “If u sign a Change.org (Links to an external site.) petition on a university computer, are u expropriating public resources? More at dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/32”

LC: Rachel Greene states that internet art and nearly all artistic practices are underwritten by several of the same motivations. #DHCRIT

FZ: I would be terrified about “collaborative writing.”How about writing online and receiving feedbacks about your unfinished projects? #dhcrit (Links to an external site.)

FZ: Davison sees Humanities 2.0 as collaboration, participation, and changes in possibly every field of humanities. #dhcrit (Links to an external site.)

EB: Gray suggests that women of color can have resistant agency in white, hetero, male gaming spaces. adanewmedia.org/2013/06/issue2… (Links to an external site.) #dhcrit

CB: Well, I can safely say that going about my #WikiEdits (Links to an external site.) for the week has broadened my worldly scope a bit! #dhcrit (Links to an external site.) #Germanmetalbands

CP: According to Rachel Greene, “art on a computer screen is too unfamiliar…” Did fantasy screen-savers change the game? #dhcrit (Links to an external site.) #netart (Links to an external site.)

CP: Greene writes that that “the internet’s role in relation to art was by no means clear” when reflecting on early #netart (Links to an external site.). Quite so! #dhcrit (Links to an external site.)

CP: Well, I can safely say that going about my #WikiEdits (Links to an external site.) for the week has broadened my worldly scope a bit! #dhcrit (Links to an external site.) #Germanmetalbands (Links to an external site.)

BS:  #dhcrit (Links to an external site.) Ngram viewer will help students to access information and understand the relevance of more theoretical and technical discussions

BS: #dhcrit (Links to an external site.) Kelly and his students deceive thousands on the Web. Angered many, experiment reveals shifting nature of the truth on Internet.

BS: #dhcrit (Links to an external site.) Students in a Tanzanian school without electricity can now get access to Wikipedia via Wi-Fi by using donated Raspberry Pi computer

KG: A pretty fascinating round-up of some prominent internet artists:http://www.complex.com/style/2013/04/25-internet-artists-you-need-to-know/martijn-hendriks … #dhcrit #netart

KG: I quite appreciate that there’s a Wikipedia page for gender bias on Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_bias_on_Wikipedia … #dhcrit #meta

VC: This week in #dhcrit (Links to an external site.) a wild patronus appears and fixes an egregious error on the Harry Potter wikipedia page!

DC: dhiman chattopadhyay ‏@dhiman2809  (Links to an external site.) Jun 6 (Links to an external site.)

Useful for #dhcrit (Links to an external site.) scholars “@NatComm (Links to an external site.): Is ur research getting attention? A scholar’s tips 2reach broader audiences. bit.ly/1djISjn (Links to an external site.)”

DC: Ironic it’s communicated on #digital (Links to an external site.) medium 🙂 “@NatComm (Links to an external site.): Digital comm may erode conversation skills, says scholar bit.ly/1T0Zkpv (Links to an external site.)”

0 retweets1 favorite

DC: #dhcrit (Links to an external site.) …Selecting the right interactive tools for a website is vital, according to Comm scholars’ new research. bit.ly/1G5OKYX (Links to an external site.)”

0 retweets1 favorite

DC: Jun 7 (Links to an external site.)

#DigitalMedia (Links to an external site.) myth&reality! Does critical journalisms future rest only on individuals? #dhcrit (Links to an external site.) @nytimes (Links to an external site.)nybooks.com/articles/archi… (Links to an external site.) via @nybooks (Links to an external site.)

DC: @dhiman2809  (Links to an external site.) Jun 7 (Links to an external site.)

#dhcrit (Links to an external site.) @adam_transeo (Links to an external site.): Social media is a very effective business tool when used correctly transeo.com.au/blog/to-post-o… (Links to an external site.) #socialmedia (Links to an external site.) #transeo (Links to an external site.)

0 retweets2 favorites

DC: (This one is a re-tweet) @dhiman2809  (Links to an external site.) Jun 8 (Links to an external site.)

Could be worth a try #dhcrit (Links to an external site.) “@NatComm (Links to an external site.): Mobile phones can help learning in the classroom, according to new research http://t.co/1ST4CzmOxS” (Links to an external site.)

KM: http://www.newstatesman.com/lifestyle/2015/05/wikipedia-has-colossal-problem-women-dont-edit-it … I’ve heard that the Wikipedia community can be mean & insidery, but so far I kind of like editing. #DHCRIT

KM: This semester, Tweeting & editing Wikipedia is my homework. Anyone know how to move this table below the infobox? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Wolf

KM:This semester, Tweeting & editing Wikipedia is my homework. Anyone know how to move this table below the infobox? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Wolf

ST: Retreat from @AcademicsSay: I don’t make mistakes. I create teachable moments.

Week Four – reading summaries

For our readings this week, we continued our exploration into the realm of the Digital Humanities. Some continued working with the Debates in the Digital Humanities text, while others ventured out beyond the walls of the  text and began to consider readings that examine digital humanities in the world. We also considered some blogs and articles of interest to those studying the Digital Humanities.

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CP – “Introduction” and “Early Internet Art” from Internet Art by Rachel Greene.  – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WqeR_vRxAQRuX4-eCG2OB5X5QTNx723Q-d9AncstdGc/edit?usp=sharing (Links to an external site.)

Article/Blog of Interest: “The Perils of Post-Internet Art” by Brian Droitcour

Summary: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NEWhzt9NmwbGf1AgxddWzK5J1mk661rMD0r_4m8O1Eg/edit?usp=sharing

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BB – “Isolating the Elements” from Internet Art by Rachel Greene. – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SxbvDAdKu2mzw8uSxQPPYqzuRLFY1-v9WJTOEVjJUFg/edit?usp=sharing

Article/Blog of Interest: Will Digital Humanities #Disrupt the University?” by Rebecca Schuman.

Summary: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gtbeeSybiigi7iHhMj0uRwPosfAeQX5NyQoAv7RCpVc/edit?usp=sharing

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LC – “Introduction” from Internet Art by Rachel Greene. – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LUqUd8_RD1HUSI-hDvn9uXY-I4M0BC3U5xzEdy9cl3k/edit?usp=sharing (Links to an external site.)

Article/Blog of Interest: “How many women edit Wikipedia?”by T. Bayer

Summary: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hbd7t3PN49A1WgfakcNdPzhi7uOkQdsbufrPg6FKjVw/edit?usp=sharing (Links to an external site.)

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VC– Article/Blog of Interest: “Technology is Taking Over English Departments” by Adam Kirsch

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DC –  “The Resistance to Digital Humanities” by David Greetham. –  https://docs.google.com/document/d/17B4Ro_OPT9nr5OdpADTpLYiS9PlE8zER-vIwSXm8NQc/edit?usp=sharing

Articles/Blogs of Interest: 1. http://www.dancohen.org/ (Links to an external site.)

Please read the latest blog on e-books (this is first blog in nearly 2 years. Strange for a habitual blogger. But he explains his absence by saying he was “incredibly busy” in his new job as the executive director of the Digital Public Library of America. In this blog he raises the issue of the apparent fall in e-book sales and why he thinks that is a “mirage”

  1. http://nowviskie.org/2010/uninvited-guests/ (Links to an external site.)

I had Tweeted this a few days back. It’s a pretty old blog post from Bethany Nowviskie, who has been recognized in the past as as one of “Ten Tech Innovators” by the Chronicle of Higher Education. I think she is the director or chair at University of Virginia’s  (Links to an external site.)digital library federation/school. Her blog site has more recent posts, but I found this interesting because it is on how digital platforms such as Twitter break down hierarchical barriers and allow “uninvited guests” to be a part of “invite only” academic events.

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SC – “Themes in Internet Art” from Internet Art by Rachel Greene. – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jePdy943_U2UNlAAB48jxrXRRjJSjO8OwrM99QJLzAQ/edit?usp=sharing (Links to an external site.)

Article/Blog of Interest: “How many women edit Wikipedia?”by T. Bayer

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KM –  “The Migration of the Aura, or How to Explore the Original through its Facsimiles” by Bruno Latour and Adam Lowe https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AcdJWZmo5kzoi8gxxsyeeMfOJo1qe75wdVOKJ7-cGzw/edit?usp=sharing (Links to an external site.)

Article/Blog of Interest: “The Wikipedia wars: Does it matter if our biggest source of knowledge is written by men?” by Jenny Kleeman –

Summary: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dEGj-TZXrVKeNikD9y0wvYSEqitER8eCmrgDlzZ3TmQ/edit?usp=sharing (Links to an external site.)

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FZ – “Humanities 2.0: Promises, Peril, Predictions” by Cathy N. Davison. – :

https://docs.google.com/document/d/18BhmKJC-EbAYAvCt6owzGXsEvhS3pDSDW0oTyGG_XJI/edit?usp=sharing (Links to an external site.)

Article/Blog of Interest: I am recommending an interesting article this week: “Colonial Legacies, Postcolonial Realities and Decolonial Futures of Digital Media.”  (Links to an external site.)It is from Cathy N. Davison’s blog on HASTAC (Links to an external site.), (the author of the essay I am summarizing this week) which is also an interesting site of digital scholarship, conversations and a collaboration of many other discussions in the field. Strongly recommended!

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BS – “Visualizing Millions of Words” by Mills Kelly.-  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pH3fx7N1Oe4ShuzHCCwVEh_Tcp9VkgZPP-zieds4u5E/edit (Links to an external site.)

Articles/Blogs of Interest:

“Raspberry Pi in Masekelo: Bringing Wikipedia to a school without electricity”
Summary: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Q5-UabiL1BLxCtzUkWgLYLxYwdchOhEF_URst8wNiy0/edit?usp=sharing

How the Professor Who Fooled Wikipedia Got Caught by Reddit: Mills Kelly encourages his students to deceive thousands of people on the Web. This has angered many, but the experiment helps reveal the shifting nature of the truth on the Internet.”

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/05/how-the-professor-who-fooled-wikipedia-got-caught-by-reddit/257134/ (Links to an external site.)

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EB – “Collective organizing, Individual Resistance, or Asshole Griefers? An Ethnographic Analysis of Women of Color In Xbox Live” by Kishonna Gray – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zrSZbmmypdOaLXI3s83mmw5YtK0ArYGUje8WZgnreRY/edit?usp=sharing

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JD – “Hacktivism and the humanities” by Elizabeth Losh. –   https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fyN4OwULYPbY2yZ1qd_cm5FBE8mHG-9_fxp1q0C-jmc/edit?usp=sharing (Links to an external site.)

Article/Blog of Interest: Also, one of my favorite sites that aggregates news and is now HUGE  fodder for most news blogs: http://www.drudgereport.com/ (Links to an external site.). The site’s founder, Matt Drudge is a well-known commentator to news directors and one that many of us checked regularly. Wikipedia seems to agree 🙂  You’ll see on the Matt Drudge Wikipedia site in the “Influence” section that “In 2006, Time (Links to an external site.) named Drudge one of the 100 most influential people in the world,[22] (Links to an external site.) describing the Drudge Report as ‘a ludicrous combination of gossip, political intrigue and extreme weather reports … still put together mostly by the guy who started out as a convenience-store clerk.'”

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SL –  “Race, Ethnicity vs. Death of the Author” from the #DHPOCO Summer School Forums

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Xcpudh6mwWq_zhQqVq5zFuuUS3pB3cxrBvMnPny02gw/edit?usp=sharing (Links to an external site.)

Article/Blog of Interest: Art Therapy Helping Veterans

Summary: https://docs.google.com/document/d/12hMVIL4PlP2W-AWnDVj7KpwqwMw_y8kDXu2XFcpFrXk/edit?usp=sharing (Links to an external site.)

Week Three Summary

Collective Weekly Summary (Week 3)

 

As the discussion proceeds in our Digital Humanities class, we are shifting our focus in week three from precious conversations of “defining the field” to issues and concerns that have emerged in this young discipline. Readings of this week are still from Gold’s (2012) book – Debates in the digital humanities. Students of our class continue using Canvas, Facebook, and DHCrit.org as the main discussion sites. Additionally, topics and reading reflections are shared on twitter as well with the hashtag .#DHCRIT.

In a brief summary, most of us focus on theory and method change in Digital Humanities. Concerns over the shift from tangible to intangible, material to immaterial are broadly discussed in the articles of this week. In transforming traditional humanities with modern technology, should we make changes to our theories and methods as well? How should make these changes happen and adjustable to our new field of DH? The following summaries from our students are addressing these main questions.

 

LC – “Humanistic Theory and Digital Scholarship” by Johanna Drucker.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RKNhG86ON6r-MMYpyRUO_XeYTa42MmreH2avGK2iLpA/edit?usp=sharing

SC – “Introducing Digital Humanities Now” by Cohen

https://docs.google.com/document/d/15uaW5ExBJu5D38ynNuKvOUu0uYDG0fTmmVe9qpTxso8/edit?usp=sharing

EB – “The Public Course Blog: The Required Reading We Write Ourselves for the Course That Never Ends”

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Cj4Fvi2SfJOalHnQvXrxbg2cuLct5pC8pVSh4SVIJV0/edit?usp=sharing

CP – “Text: A Massively Addressable Object” by Michael Witmore

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EoeZPcJTzBrDMhel3OjC5qPhqmW-YvaAz7v1q-vpK2s/edit?usp=sharing

DC – “Eternal September of the Digital Humanities” by Bethany Nowviskie

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AqZ5nSOzY_C5sncVdZ6NbRFA3nBaRH3OSMVh_KV8HoM/edit?usp=sharing

FZ – “Canons, Close Reading, and the Evolution of Method” by Matthew Wilkens

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NQZbI5kr9fS7B7S3bQSaSS_-rsnVlPc5U7ZXD45SWHw/edit?usp=sharing

KM – “The Digital Humanities and Its Users” by Charlie Edwards

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sKRXahFYjMA9wyxYF9y-nqW_RJ3UPDFllmit-Q_W9a4/edit?usp=sharing

KG – “The Turtlenecked Hairshirt” by Ian Bogost

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Hc8gHiSAlnM0YSjgh1F30ecWOJgBLnE-Y298sgj8PMc/edit?usp=sharing

JD – “Has critical theory run out of time for data-driven scholarship” by Gary Hall

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_oPrWi5XWeZrqu4THFfVNBqxWqOtuwu3AgiAO-6Xjas/edit?usp=sharing

BS – “What’s Wrong with Writing Essays,” by Mark L. Sample

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wbjhdhkRA-FNbmPdpxMGrKSu55yaF9QnEUyknUIFF9E/edit

VC – “Text: A Massively Addressable Object” by Michael Witmore

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G-YQ9qMgmzemU-uRY1dY3GLcs5SnGUVr3OMlJD8J8wA/edit?usp=sharing

SL – “There Are No Digital Humanities” by Gary Hall

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VNOQpBY3KRRhe0RI6sVHykne6xfp7ZN_sD8A-6nayjk/edit?usp=sharing

BB – “Sunset for Ideology, Sunrise for Methodology?” by Tom Scheinfeldt

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ELOHlRR45TxmWv-YRFGJ64_V92V0Pp-zWzec0S7aqaU/edit?usp=sharing

 

Wikipedia edits summary from class

WIKIPEDIA EDITS AND OUR EXPERIENCES – WEEK 1

Dhiman Chattopadhyay & Jeanette Dillon

 

Thirteen students tried their hand at editing pages on Wikipedia during week 1 of our Digital Humanities course. For most of us, this was the first serious attempt at editing a ‘Wiki’ page.

Three major themes emerged from the editing adventures: the Eureka moments, or the “how to” discoveries based on edits we made; the Challenges or the “what now” questions when we got stuck; and finally the Thoughts or the “what-are-we-doing and why-is-it-the-way-it-is feedback.

 

Eureka!

Here are some of the things the team discovered on the way.

  1. Go to a page, click the “edit” button and start editing. After an edit has been done, one needs to go to the bottom of the page to a section that asks the editor to describe in brief what edits have been made. Fill in the blank space to describe edits.

 

  1. How to add a reference / footnote and fill up the citation/reference section was learning process of discovery. Some of us checked training videos while others learned by trial and error. The editing page has a “cite” button and a “template” scroll bar. As long as one follows instructions from thereon, it is doable.

 

  1. Make sure any changes made are characterized either as ‘minor’ or as ‘watch this article’ (I guess this means it is a major change). There is a button just below the “describe your edit” section at the bottom of the “edit” page. This is quite subjective. Most of us clicked on “minor” to play safe. Some of us did click on the latter button (and survived to tell the tale)

 

  1. Once you insert an edit (add a reference, change a sentence or even simply capitalize a word), remember to click “save” if you want your edits to post. Click the “preview button to double check before you leave the page.

 

  1. Pages categorized as “semi-protected” can only be used by auto-confirmed editors. Some of us did edit such pages and the edits were not rejected.

 

  1. If a page has a silver lock or “locked” note, it means no direct edits can be made. One can request an edit, however, and send it to the editors.
  2. Some pages declare that there are “issues” with the page and that their “neutrality is debated.”. This suggests that multiple (perhaps contradictory) views may exist on this page.

 

  1. A lot of old information exists on many Wikipedia pages. This is because while new edits are approved, unless someone deletes old information, it stays.

 

Challenges

  1. Exact rules/commands have to be followed, otherwise the citation will not reflect properly (red colored “error link” notes may pop up. This is an indication that something was not detailed in the way Wikipedia wants it).

 

  1. Finding that perfect reference article to support the edit just made is not easy. Adding information is empowering

 

 

  1. If you forget to “save” any changes you made, they won’t reflect on the page. Sounds obvious, but many of us realized that when you are editing multiple sentences, adding citations or deleting information on a page, saving every change and entering descriptions about each change is not always top of the mind.

 

  1. This is a hugely time consuming process. A serious attempt at editing a single page may take an hour, particularly if the page has several sections.

 

  1. Edits can be rejected (particularly on pages that are popular and visited often). Volunteers may reject it within 12 hours. The good thing: an audit trail of all recent changes by all editors can be found on the ‘history’ section.

 

Thoughts

  1. There was a new found respect for the “volunteers” who monitored our edits and ensured (somehow) that millions of edits from random people were checked. (As one team member said: “It’s really awe-inspiring that it functions as well as it does, when you consider that they give anyone in the world the ability to make any changes they want, and that almost all of the labor involved is done by volunteers.”)

 

  1. Knowledge is power. But while editing wiki pages, adding citations (including citations of our own previous works or citations that referred to our family members) gave us a sense of power. Editing also made us think about who creates knowledge and how we should look at this knowledge.

 

  1. Most members chose to edit pages that dealt with topics they were most familiar with. In other words most of us (with some exceptions) chose to create/add knowledge only in areas we were ‘experts’ in (with power comes responsibility?). As a team member said: “I wondered if I had the power to create knowledge. Would my edits be accepted? I decided I would have a better chance of gaining acceptance as I learned about editing on Wikipedia if I stuck to something I knew pretty well.

 

  1. While Wikipedia continues to add new information, many pages do not delete old information! These pages can sometimes confuse potential editors with the way information is organized. There should be a way to routinely monitor this.

 

  1. This is one reason perhaps, why one member wrote about Wikipedia’s “poor reputation”. In the same vein another member wrote “My concern not only comes from the power to edit, but also—do I consider myself a reliable source in editing and adding information?”

 

  1. A paradigm shift in the “thoughts” came from this overarching question: “why is a site that clearly encourages multiple viewpoints, so caught up in validity and presenting one truth? As one member wrote: “That debates are not part of the inherent concept in Wikipedia, is an intriguing component of the site because, as a person who studies cultural discourse, I believe that these debates are at the center of defining and describing episteme. What this tells us about Wikipedia is that it is biased towards scientific, positivist ideology (despite its ironic focus on neutrality). I wonder why they don’t just create a “debates” page for each topic so that this can be further explored by those who want to examine the cultural discourse surrounding a topic?”

 

  1. The final observation or thought is a philosophical one, one that probably bothers many critical scholars. As a member mentioned: “One thing that I find myself struggling with is this concept that primary sources are problematic. It seems to me that this is in conflict with humanities as it assumes that the human experience is biased unless based on ‘fact’. Again, this is representative of Wikipedia’s internal bias that objectivity is possible.”

 

Over to week 2!