We are pleased to welcome you to a new blog created to support the Western History Association’s Digital History Workshop, planned for Thursday, October 14, 2010 (3:00-4:30) at Lake Tahoe.

The workshop is an opportunity for WHA members interested in the ways digital technologies can be (and are being) used in the classroom, in public history, and in research to gather virtually here on the blog and in person at the WHA Conference to discuss interests, concerns, and ideas. Whether tech guru or newbie, anyone interested in hearing about/discussing the increasingly significant roles digital technologies play in contemporary scholarship, teaching, and public history is welcome.

This blog is a place for potential attendees to begin the conversations and exchanges of ideas that they hope to continue in the workshop; we also ask contributors to share those resources, tools, examples of digital scholarship, online exhibits,  etc., that they have found noteworthy or helpful in their own work.

9 Replies to “Welcome!”

  1. I am interested in continuing the discussion beyond the break out sessions to include the conference as a whole. What would blogging the conference look like?

    1. I like the idea of blogging the conference but it might not work. The National Council on Public History has run a conference blog the last three years (I’ll add the links below). There have been some excellent posts, but far fewer than we had hoped. I was one of the official conference bloggers last year and discovered that conference time was exactly when I did not want to blog–I was too damned busy attending sessions, hanging with my once-a-year friends, and cruising the book exhibits.

      What might work better is a Twitter feed. I have been to a couple of THATCamps and the Twitter traffic was amazing. I have also followed some academic conferences via Twitter–the MLA has a pretty strong feed. But this requires free wifi (which the WHA will not have, except in our workshop) or at least decent cell coverage. At the NCPH last spring there was no wifi and no cell reception and the tweeting was pathetic.

  2. I hadn’t thought about not having an internet connection during the conference. Maybe this is another direction that our discussions need to shift toward access to the web and information systems whether they are via wifi or 3g or whatever. I think we can get so used to a wired world that being without web access for any length of time is disconcerting, but that also leaves us with the discussion of people having access to our information in formats other than a high-speed digital medium, one with an older machine or simple mobile access. Does this change what we want to do as digital scholars?

    1. I agree that many of us have become maybe too accustomed to a wired world, but there are venues where I would expect to have some sort of internet access and a business/professional meeting is one of those places – it just makes sense for the location to have it available (there are many fields more demanding of such access than our little academic world). That said, we have all had to adapt to no access. I do worry about wired scholarship/resources being available to wider audiences, but one way to think about it is that it is work that requires a tool to access – like microfilm in a reader (yikers)- although for many, it is increasingly available (unlike microform readers).

      1. I understand that we will have wifi at the Digital Frontiers session, but only because the WHA came up some hundreds of dollars to pay for it. Perhaps we could use it draw more participants to our session–“Come to the Digital Frontiers workshop and check your email!”

        FYI, after the NCPH in Portland I complained to the hotel about the expensive wifi. Here is the response I got from the Hilton: “Thank you for taking the time to provide us your valuable feedback. I would like to apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused you due to our hotel Internet fee policy. I do understand how frustrating additional charges can be when you are staying at a full service hotel. Hopefully, Hilton, Marriott and Westin will revisit their Internet fee policy in the near future. I hope you stay with us again in the near future. Please don’t hesitate to contact me for any future Portland hotel requirements.”

      2. I like mentioning the internet access angle to draw a bigger crowd! I think we can anticipate some tweeting from our session – Doug can decide on a hashtag – several attendees are active users.

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