I just completed a week as volunteer editor-at-large for Digital Humanities Now

My mission, as outlined in the instructions I received was to

review the pieces produced or shared by the digital humanities community and to nominate the most important scholarly work and news items for broader distribution through DHNow.”

It was a fabulous experience for a variety of reasons.

1.  Gain Exerptise with RSS feed  Although I’d already started using google reader to archive my tweets, as well as hashtags I follow, @DHNow uses tagging to alert the Editor-in-Chief who then selects links for publicaiton.  So I not only learned how to bundle tags, I actually starting USING tags.   Instructions for editors-at-large include detailed information on how to set up google reader.  Although I had some technically difficulties, resolved by switching to PC from Mac for just one step, the process is really quite easy and the @DHNow peeps are patient and helpful (S/O to my contact at DHNow who patiently helped me sort out the problem )

2.  Gain Exposure to New Sources.  The instructions include feeds to review.  Although some, such as the #digitalhumanities is probably already something most volunteers read, others will not be as familiar.  I, for example, hadn’t yet added blogs to my google reader (I KNOW!) so I ended up reading quite a few new sources that will become regular additions.  Since you are reading widely (the requested amount of time is 1 hour/day) you will end up reading stuff you might otherwise miss or ignore.

3. Give something back.  Obviously, by contributing to DHNow, an amazing resource, you are contributing to the larger scholarly community.  DHNow is one of the best crowdsources projects I’ve ever seen, no doubt due to the excellent editorial work of the peeps at Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media

In addition though, I kept coming across resources, often related to history or gender, that while fascinating to the historians, didn’t quite meet the criteria for DHNow.  I tweeted those links, thus in effect doubling my contributing to the scholarly community in a single week.

4. Amplify Twitter.  The added bonus?  I picked up 30 new twitter followers this week (@professmoravec).  Of course not all were related to the links I tweeted due to DHNow work, I was on Twitter more this week than normal, but still, the whole process was a great way to reconnect me to Twitter after my slower summer participation.

Overall I’m not sure how much my contribution helped.  I had some way more experienced editors-at-large during my week (:      ), but I did notice quite a few of the links I tagged were tweeted by @DHNow so clearly you don’t need to be expert in digital humanities to make a contribution.