Digital Humanities Pedagogy

A Lesson in Digital Publishing

P9120077 by kepps, on Flickr

I spent a few hours yesterday working on the Tarlton Project, testing out some theories about Queen’s Men touring practices and split troupe touring (not sure if that’s actually a phrase, but I like it). I found it extremely cathartic (and a justifiable procrastination technique) to juggle ArcGIS Online, Google spreadsheets, and WordPress and see what I could accomplish in a short time. As I wrote in the blog post, the observations were absolutely preliminary, but helped as I begin to frame my paper for the October Sixteenth Century Society and Conference.

I posted and tweeted and the tweet went to FB and I promptly went on to other things. Then people who I respect read the post – and poked around the Tarlton Project site. There were some statements on the wiki section of the site that I thought had been taken down, but in fact were still there for all the world to see. They were really no more than placeholders, creating a framework for what I’ve been hoping to do with the site. They were also old and creaky and I should have disabled the link between the WordPress site and the wiki. /*facepalm*/

So I very quickly removed the links and locked down the wiki; my goal is to pull everything out of the wiki environment and port it into WordPress (all except the actual digital edition of Tarlton’s Jests, which I will continue to work on in TEI).

Herein is a cautionary tale. It’s one thing to track one’s progress working on a digital project and share that information in a post that is clearly identified as a work in progress. It’s another thing to present work that appears to be complete but is in fact in very early draft phase. So I’m adjusting my work process: I’ll continue to push updates on process to the site so that people can see what I’m up to. And I’ll frame sections of the work that serve as introductions (project overview, fluid bibliography, etc.) But I will take extra precautions to ensure that sections that are not-ready-for-primetime (such as the Red Lion skirmish narrative) are held back until they are more polished. At least I learned this lesson early on!

And now back to finishing my syllabus for the ENGL1102 course that I begin teaching tomorrow – which will involve another collaborative edition, as I discussed last week. I realized that, despite my plans to the contrary, I’m still pushing myself to provide more grades with comments than I’ll reasonably be able to turn around. Again with the /*facepalm*/.

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