I decided that the best way for me to contribute was adding to a definition with the least written about it. “Passivity” had only one sentence in its definition so adding more information would be most beneficial to the class.

I started by re-reading everything I could find about Passivity in the articles assigned to us. The authors Dan Cohen and Roy Rosenzweig of Digital History, 2005,Introduction,”  and “Exploring the History Web,” presented Passivity as a danger to digital history, but their tone and arguments didn’t convince me of the danger. In fact, I didn’t know whether they truly believed it was dangerous.

I made a note of that in my definition because most of the class used the authors’ words as a primary source for their contributions. That makes Dan Cohen and Roy Rosenzweig’s positions on each of the qualities, that make digital media better/worse, very important.

I didn’t find BudyPress difficult to use, perhaps because I edited the document later than everybody else.


In the document, I edited the terms Diversity and Manipulability. Using the text, I reread the reading to find where Cohen and Rosenzweig mentioned the terms. After reading, I wrote my own definition in the space, using the reading as a guideline.

For Manipulability, however, I decided to take it a step further by embedding the photo Cohen and Rosenzweig used in the reading as an example. By doing so, I feel like it brought the document to another level and the example could better illustrate my definition.

It was difficult to use the HMTL tool, however, as I had to find the image’s url by opening it up in another window on my browser and figuring out how to edit the caption, center the image where I wanted it in the document (it had originally be thrown to the top) and make sure it came up when I was done editing.


My contribution to the group document was providing the intial definition for flexibility which came from the text written by Rosenzweig and Dan Cohen. I first included a word for word definition as provided by the text, and then gave my own summary of how the two authors see the word, flexibility, relative to digital history. While doing this assignments I thought that having this be a group work allows me and others to view other people’s work, so that we can see how they formatted their contribution and use it to help us.



By September 3:

1) Join Digital History Group on Blogs@Baruch

2) Group edit BuddyPress doc: “Digital History Lexicon”
  • From Digital History group page, choose “docs” tab and open “Digital History Lexicon
  • If you see a warning that someone else is editing the document, leave a comment with the phrase “insert as definition for…” and then come back and clean it up (or we will).
  • Edit the document, either contributing, modifying, polishing, or illustrating with an exemplary link the key phrases listed in bold, or commenting on the doc using the comments interface below it.

3) Write a blog post of 250 or fewer words detailing the contributions/changes you made to the BuddyPress doc, and reflect on the constraints or possibilities for using this tool for collaborative work.

By September 5:

4) Create accounts, if you don’t already have them, on Twitter, Delicious, and Google (reader).

  • Send a tweet with the hashtag #baruchdh, and save at least one digital history site to your Delicious account with the tag #baruchdh

5) Complete readings:


1. Housekeeping:

  • Attendance
  • Reminder that no class on Monday
  • Expect a post like this one for every class, as well as another post that lays out the assignment for the next class
  • Reminder to please use online syllabus since it is an evolving document

2. Blogs@Baruch / BuddyPress docs tutorial

3. Dan Cohen and Roy Rosenzweig, Digital History (2005), “Introduction

  • benefits: capacity, accessibility, flexibility, diversity, manipulability, interactivity, hypertextuality/nonlinearity
  • dangers: quality, durability, readability, passivity, and inaccessibility.

4. Dan Cohen and Roy Rosenzweig, Digital History (2005) Exploring the History Web

  • Historicizing the trajectory of digital history
  • Five main genres of history websites: archives (containing primary sources); exhibits, films, scholarship, and essays; teaching; discussion; and organizational.

5. Jonathan Shaw, “The Humanities, Digitized: Reconceiving the Study of Culture,” Harvard Magazine, May-June 2012.

  • How have things changed between 2005 and 2012? (archive construction, crowdsourcing, geospatial analysis, simulations, text-mining and visualizations, deep and/or broad collaboration)
  • Examples: Show and tell, e.g. http://www.jdarchive.org/?la=en
  • Are we in the  middle of a revolution?  On the cusp of one?

6. RSS in Plain English: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0klgLsSxGsU

7. Google Reader, Delicious, Twitter.

8. For new version of assignments due September 3 and 5, see this post.