I’ve fallen behind, but I do have a good reason. I moved to Africa and internet works but it’s dead slow and frequently on a generator – and that’s from an embassy.
Google Scholar seemed simple enough. But it brought into question what happens when you publish something without your name, but it happens to be frequently cited? Work I’ve done in the past doesn’t include my name but I know that it’s cited rather frequently because of what it is. While this doesn’t give me any credit, I know I can list it as a publication of my own since it is traced back to me. I don’t think Google Scholar would raise my academic profile. It seemed that the majority of papers that appeared were science related, which could have a greater flow within the internet unlike history related material. I think one of the few ways of getting around that is through internet based working papers or a decently established and trustworthy blog. I also think that having to lock myself as a Cambridge researcher when I plan on leaving in a year could pose a potential problem down the line. Would I need to create a new profile, which would then confuse people with the old profile or would I be able to adjust specific settings. I would be useful if my field were to move toward a complete digitization of texts; then I would never have to leave Cambridge. The reality of that is slim.
Many people ask me why I use my full name (first, middle, last). Besides liking it and that my parents refer to me as that, it distinguishes me from all the other Catherine’s in the world. I have one of the most common names possible (first and last), which makes googling myself sometimes entertaining.
Not including my middle name I am: first off deceased multiple times, a country musician, a low-budget film star, a well-known poet, an artist, at multiple universities, and in multiple countries across several continents. If I google my whole name I return as me because the returns show as conferences, events as universities, workshops, and various other things involved on Central Africa. My name appears with relative ease when I search for it with particular terms or the keywords that I would know to associate it – Cambridge, Congo, Catherine – I come up pretty fast.
I think I’m visible to the people that need access to my information. I have the details for certain accounts (such as facebook) blocked so that only friends can find me. I enjoy my privacy and don’t know to what extent I’m willing to let people know every detail of my life. I don’t particularly enjoy it when people find me the next day and relay a message of what I’ve done because they’ve seen it on-line. While it it might be useful to engage more actively on sites like academia.edu to connect more widely with my colleagues, I’m very hesitant for some reason.
I would be useful for a moderate presence online. In the future, I don’t want to be glued to a computer but I don’t want to be so far separated from it that I can’t communicate without it. It’s about striking a simple balance on maintaining a profile in the long run, but making sure that the profile suits my meed for privacy.
I decided to sit in on this course because of a project I was inadvertently put in charge of early this year that involved various forms of social media. While I was heavily trained in doing the job properly and doing it in record time, I was only trained in mainstream social media – Twitter, Facebook, HootSuite, YouTube, etc. and how to harness this to reach large groups of people at once. It would be useful to to somehow merge those tools into my research.
Key-Skills: After setting up my blog, I can’t say I’m a big fan of wordpress. I’ve used blogger before and it’s very streamlined and simplistic, but some could consider that a good thing. Sometimes simple is better, perhaps gradually progressing through all the elements of wordpress would be better but it is an initial onslaught of things, which can be daunting to a person who has never seen the backstage of a wordpress site.
General and Digital Humanities: Digital Humanities is an interesting topic for my specific field of research because I work in a geographic area that doesn’t always have a guaranteed electrical source. The strongest and most critical argument is that digital humanities tools are necessary because the field is much richer and more connected because of this. Those of us that stretch across three continents but work on the same area are much more informed through blog posts, google groups, and other forms of social media than ever before in transferring information, ideas, and general news. It’s also incredibly useful just by the fact that seminars can now be viewed online or books can be downloaded from libraries while I’m away on fieldwork.
Evaluation and Integration: There are several blogs dedicated to the field I work in that evolve on a rotating basis, a person contributes on a weekly basis for a month and then it moves to someone else. This works quite well since this 1) informs our relatively small group of what’s new in the field and 2) it provides a break for the writers. Otherwise, I tend to only blog when I’m away on fieldwork and it’s not very serious blogging.