Up until this decade, public access to information has been quite restricted and slow. To study new research in humanities, a person had to go to a library or buy expensive books and journals. For any new work to make it into a journal or a book and reach the majority, was a long process. By the time the work was actually published and reached the consumer, more work was already done and everything just published became old news, which many a times, is no longer relevant. Also, a journal published in USA might take a lot of time to become available in other countries and never even reach some parts of the world.
With the onset of the Internet, things became a little more open and a lot faster. New research could be made available online instantaneously and reach millions at the same time but access to the internet and the lack of technical know-how, prevented lots of people from actually being able to publish their work on the web. For example — An archaeologist working in ‘Pompeii’ does not have the time, money or resources to code a website and put his research online.
As the internet became more matured, tools were developed to make the process of making a website and putting research on the web, a lot easier. Blogging Platforms and Content Management Systems were made to bring the openness, reach and speed of the internet to a common person along with the ease of a graphical user interface for website management and no need of learning new skills. Above everything, most blogging platforms are free to use or quite cheap. These attributes make the modern Blogging Platforms perfect for use in Humanities.
We have discussed multiple Blogging platforms like Tumblr, WordPress, drupal, etc in class and seen that they have proved to be a phenomenal tool for both the researchers and people interested in humanities. Most research projects in Humanities nowadays have a blog or a website with regularly posted blog posts.
Many research projects in different locations of the world often employ a group of researchers working at different times. While not working, they many a times travel to different countries and refer to regular blog posts by the currently working team to keep up with research. The blog also acts as a tracking system that keeps all the research results in an organized manner. The number of views of the blog also helps in getting more funding for the project.
The blog also makes sure information about new findings can instantaneously reach the people following them. Students or researchers all over the world can follow a blog of a project taking place in any part of the globe and make connections, which i believe is a big part of humanities and can lead to new discoveries.
Some examples of Blogs in Humanities are :-
It’s a blog by Miriam Posner, who coordinates and teaches in the Digital Humanities program at the University of California, Los Angeles about her research and the classes she teaches.
Is run by Dan Cohen, who directs George Mason University Roy Rosenzweig Center and talks about merging technology and archived history into one effective resource. It uses wordpress.
Presented by Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboration, these blogs provide readers of all familiarity levels with multiple perspectives on the digital humanities. It makes for a great way to learn about upcoming conferences, calls for papers, and other events as well. It uses Joomla.
As seen above, blogging is a very popular tool in humanities and its utility is ever increasing as it is becoming easier and easier to use blogging tools. New technologies have made it possible to share information of many different kinds online like 3D models, maps, etc and people have found different and innovative of using these features.
The future is here and it’s more open, widespread, fast and easy that ever imaginable before.