Thoughtmesh

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Better Words about BitsA Still Water project by Jon Ippolito aimed at linking thematically similar academic essays across the Web has been awarded an initial grant of $10,000 by the Thoma Foundation. Founding philanthropists Carl and Marilynn Thoma also hosted a presentation at New York’s School of Visual Arts last December to honor the inaugural recipients of the Digital Arts Writing prize, independent writer Joanne McNeil and Ippolito, who co-directs UMaine’s Still Water lab.

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13orono Digital Humanities vga 9One of the challenges of Maine’s first THATCamp (the 2013 Digital Humanities Week) was how to get 60 people to decide what they want to learn together. Fortunately, several of the participants offered creative solutions that may be of use to the organizers of any democratically determined conversation.

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Digital Humanities Banner 2013

Using a 3-D printer. Custom-styling a WordPress blog. Growing your own medicine. Conducting a social media campaign with YouTube and Twitter.

Is there a skill you wanted to learn but haven’t found the teacher or time to learn it? Create your own class in exactly what you want to learn at this year’s Digital Humanities Week at the University of Maine, which takes place Monday through Thursday 7-10 October. Sponsored by the New Media Department Correll Fund, Humanities Initiative, and CA/DLS, this year’s Digital Humanities Week will be Maine’s first THATCamp.

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scalar-logoScalar is an online platform built by the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture (ANVC) centered at USC that facilitates the creation of media-rich scholarly publications. The software has only recently entered public beta, however versions have been operational since 2010 that have led to a number of works, many sponsored by scholarly organizations and academic presses. Last month’s public launch has garnered new attention to the platform, and this week PCMag marked Scalar as an Editors’ Choice along with a 4.5/5 star “excellent rating.”

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Screengrab of Debra Levine’s DEMONSTRATING ACT UP Scalar project

Are footnotes obsolete? At this month’s Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference, Craig Dietrich suggests crediting other scholars is still necessary, but it’s no longer enough.

The Still Water Senior Researcher and USC digital studies professor argues that run-of-the-mill citation methods don’t cut it in today’s connected world, where technologies like RDF can provide a far richer context and encourage reuse of online scholarship.

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CompdStill Water‘s archival tools were featured in a keynote at the Compatible Data conference organized by Micki McGee at Fordham University in New York on 24 September. This conference gathered data mavens from the New York Public Library, Columbia and Brown universities, and other prominent collections with the goal of finding a metadata Esperanto in the current Tower of Babel of competing standards.

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Egypt ProtestIn recent weeks the ThoughtMesh publishing platform has expanded to include videos of conference proceedings, reports on the 2011 Egyptian revolution, and book-length publications.

Critical Code Studies has launched a Mesh to publish proceedings of their 2010 conference, in conjunction with a HASTAC Scholars Forum on the same topic of software studies. The launch coincides with a major ThoughtMesh upgrade from Still Water Senior Researcher Craig Dietrich that enables videos and articles to coexist side-by-side. The videos include talks by keynote speaker Wendy Chun and a host of prominent scholars.

ThoughtMesh is a free publishing platform created by Still Water with sponsorship from USC’s Vectors journal. Once “meshed” with this software, any document is automatically linked via automatically generated tags to related documents across the Web.

Ccs LogoWhile the CCS Mesh gathers together seventeen presentations from the conference, many authors use ThoughtMesh to publish one document at a time. Just last week Egyptian-American Laila Shereen Sakr published a call to action based on her hash tag analysis engine that mines Twitter to follow anti-government protests in Egypt.

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Jon Ippolito’s presentation “Learning from Mario: Crowdsourcing Preservation” from last March’s DOCAM conference in Montreal has been meshed and is now available online. The essay makes the provocative argument that preservation professionals should be taking cues from the amateur fans who keep vintage games alive.

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Thoughtmesh Logo smaAccording to Colin Kloecker at the Walker Art Center, ThoughtMesh and The Pool are good tools for a healthy commons. He profiled these two open-source Still Water networks in a post leading up to the kickoff of the Walker’s Open Field initiative last June.

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Academics are taking their own sweet time adapting to a networked world, at least to judge from two reports that surfaced on the iDC discussion list last week. To judge from Neil Selwyn’s “The Educational Significance of Social Media” and to the UC Berkeley study “Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication,” there are still plenty of professors happily justifying their obsession with inbred subdisciplinary journals while Fox and Facebook steamroll over public discourse.

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