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Heading to Austin for SXSW Interactive

Anyone out there going to be at SXSWi? I would love to find like-minded DH (digital humanities) and GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives & Museums) folks in Austin. If you can’t go, what do you wish I would attend and blog about after the fact?

No promises on thoroughness of my blogging of course. I never have mastered the ‘live blogging’ approach, but I do enjoy taking notes and if the past is any guide to the future I usually manage at least 2 really detailed posts on sessions from any one conference. The rest end up being notes to myself that I always mean to somehow go back to and post later. Maybe I need to spend a month just cleaning up and posting old session summaries (or at least those that still seem interesting and relevant!). ... 

Creative Funding for Text-Mining and Visualization Project

The Hip-Hop word count project on Kickstarter.com caught my eye because it seems to be a really interesting new model for funding a digital humanities project. You can watch the video below – but the core of the project tackles assorted metadata from 40,000 rap songs from 1979 to the present including stats about each song (word count, syllables, education level, etc), individual words, artist location and date. This information aims to become a public online almanac fueled by visualizations. ... 

Blog Action Day: Flickr Commons Images of Acquiring Water

Water in Bengal
Water in Benal (1944)

In honor of this year’s Blog Action Day theme of Water, I wanted to share some stunning images from the Flickr Commons. The images I have selected, contributed by cultural heritage institutions from around the world, show methods of transportation or acquisition of water. I will let the images speak for themselves below, but next time you go to turn on the tap water in your home – think of all of those for whom getting water is a huge challenge each and every day. While most of the images below are from decades ago, easy access to safe, clean water is still a current issue. Please consider supporting an organization like Charity: Water, a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. 100% of public donations directly fund water projects. ... 

Breast Cancer: Join the Army of Women & Help Scientists Find the Cause

In honor of the Army of Women Day, my post today takes a quick look at how the American public  has been delivered various messages about cancer via posters and PSAs.

These two 1930s posters from the Library of Congress focus their message on convincing women to seek treatment from their doctor quickly and not fight their cancer alone.

By the 70s we got PSAs from organizations like the American Cancer Society, focusing on not smoking, doing self-exams and seeing your doctor for ‘regular cancer check-ups’. The clip below features Farrah Fawcett in 1981 (25 years before her own cancer diagnosis): ... 

SAA2010: SEO and Archives Websites

Just a quick reminder that I will be presenting tomorrow morning at SAA2010 on the topic of search engine optimization and archives websites. I am part of session 502 officially titled Not on Google? It Doesn’t Exist: Findability and Search Engine Optimization for Archives. My specific portion of the presentation is titled ‘Building Archives Websites That Google Will Love’ and will be a general introduction to SEO concepts and why they are important to those involved in the creation of websites for archives and other cultural heritage institutions. It will include some basic tips and techniques. ... 

ArchivesZ Needs You!

I got a kind email today asking “Whither ArchivesZ?”. My reply was: “it is sleeping” (projects do need their rest) and “I just started a new job” (I am now a Metadata and Taxonomy Consultant at The World Bank) and “I need to find enthusiastic people to help me”. That final point brings me to this post.

I find myself in the odd position of having finished my Master’s Degree and not wanting to sign on for the long haul of a PhD. So I have a big project that was born in academia, initially as a joint class project and more recently as independent research with a grant-funded programmer, but I am no longer in academia. ...