Anecdotally I’ve noticed since joining the twitterstream that #digitalhumanities is far more active than  #digitalhistory and #twitterstorians.  Because my work involves both community formation and transformative social movements, I’ve been bothered by my inabilitiy to easily access scholars working digital history as well as my impression that #twitterstorians doesn’t include very many U.S. historians who study gender.  I’m worried in effect that gender and history by historians is not present enough in #digitalhumanities.


Yesterday I tweeted a proposed project

#twitterstorian &#DH usage, anecdotally #Dh #digitialhumanities more active & interactive




A bit later

 from the OAH/NCPH Anne Whisnant tweeted a remark by Sharon Leon

@amwhisnant Lots of overlap between digital hx and public hx, yes! @sleonchnmtalks abt dom of #dh by lit scholars who ask diff Q. #oah2012#NCPH2012



 
Exactly my concern, historians are different than literature people.

@adelinekoh reminded me history is a subspecies of #digitalhumanities and suggested that #twitterstorians comprise much of the #digitalhumanities community.  My anecdotal impression is that literature tweeps (who apparently now want their own hashtag similar to #twitterstorians) are far more active in #digitalhumanities than historians. 

#twitterstorians is a tag meant, I believe, for historians on twitter.  These historians are in any field and may or may not be involved in digital history work.


I tweeted specifically to #twitterstorians for a response.

#twitterstorians do you think correct assessmnt MRT @sleonchnm#dh dominated by lit scholars who ask diff ? than historians 







@sleonchnm @ProfessMoravec Not that we digital historians aren’t doing good work, just that we’re out numbered #twitterstorians #dh





So in order to ultimately answer the question is there significant overlap between #Twitterstorians and #digitalhumanities I first needed to delineate the two communities.  I grabbed @mhawksey tool tags 3.1 and started running data.  It pulls for one week, April 16 to the 23rd.  That period covers a major history conference #OAH2012, which does not seem to have skewed results [4 #twitterstorians including #OAH, none with #digitalhumanities].


The results are too voluminous to analyze in one go because I’m interested in finely grained analysis, the quality of interactions in addition to quantity.  Please understand that I’m a qualitative researcher.  The last project I did of this sort  involved me hand coding web-based interactions.  I suck at programming (haven’t done it since the 90s), but what I’ve learned from my short time on Twitter is that you may as well dive in and start the conversations you want to have. 

Initial results, #digitalhumanities more active than #twitterstorians but by less than anticipated.  #digitalhistory is so small as to be almost useless as a hashtag


By sheer volume alone,
#digitalhumanities 330
#twitterstorians 303
#digitalhistory 12


In order for hastags to function, they need to be consistent, so in that spirit I offer the following observations.


I originally ran #DH but quickly realized that whatever academics might think, we’re not even close to dominating this hashtag. 
first finding: save yourself three characters and stop using #DH which is dominated by Desperate Housewives fans


So I ran #digital #humanities (13 tweets)


Finding #2 no surprise use #digitalhumanities not #digital #humanities Similarly stop using the singular #twitterstorian (17 tweets)


I wondered about the incredibly small #digitalhistory yield.  I began running variants.
#digital #history 0
#digital AND
#history 0
#digital AND history 4
digital AND #history 19

Finding # 3 digital history needs to agree on hashtag and use it!  In the process of analyzing the data I found #dhist (13 tweets) which has benefit of being shorter than #digitalhistory but not very intuitive for newbies.

So I was off on my estimate about volume, but what about quality of interaction?  The blunt measures in the spreadsheet, RT and links, as indicators of “conversation” reveals no significant difference.

#digitalhumanities 
Number of links         211 (63.9%)
Number of RTs          116 (35.1%)
to specific user            14  (4.2%)


#twitterstorians
Number of links         218  (71.9%)
Number of RTs          111  (36.6%)
To specific user          12   (3.9%)

Next up I’ll attempt to figure out if #twitterstorians are participating in a significant way in #digitalhumanities
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