Yesterday I read a interesting post over on Leoville entitled Buzz kill, it discussed the idea that social media doesn’t really matter, and people don’t notice if it not working. It’s an interesting post and well worth a read. But after that I didn’t really think much about it. Until I logged into gmail this morning, and it came up with a warning about what would happen if you lost all your emails! Disaster. It can’t be a coincidence that in the space of 24hours I’ve been given signs that the social media and electronic mail apocalypse is nigh. Yes I doubt it too…
But it got me thinking, social media and emails are the background to my life. It’s how I transmit and receive information, it’s where I converse and network, it’s where I learn and engage. But what would happen if I was without it? Would I use the phone more? Would I write more? Would I actually talk to real people in the street? Rather than hiding behind a laptop or iphone? Well to be honest I would probably be out of a job. Researching social media and cultural heritage is going to be quite hard if a substantial part of the research no longer exists.
It’s also quite interesting that many people in my life I either know digitally or in ‘reality’ there’s only a few that overlap into both. For the lucky devils who get me in both, they have me in suroundsound, pretty much 24hours a day. And I’m there or thereabouts the same person online as I am off, so if you know me in only one world, then don’t worry you’re not missing too much of my personality. But what you are missing is the content.
So in an attempt to have some record on what on earth I have been up to in the world of social media just in case the end is nigh…
Every Friday in August, ZSL London Zoo keeps, its doors open late so visitors can take an after-dark potter about the grounds, meeting its various creatures. The first thing you notice is how excited everyone is. Visiting places that are normally exclusively daytime activities is brilliant. The success of Museums at Night shows how many people are fascinated to explore at night. I was very excited, as I get about most things, animals in particular. What was great was that so was everyone else! There was an air of exuberance and excitement, giving visitors a very different experience of the attraction. At every corner there were hyper adults with cameras snapping, pointing excitedly at giraffes and penguins and getting giddy about face painting.
Later in the evening the silent disco really got going, arms weaving and mouths singing along to a beat only they could hear, until everyone started singing along to YMCA and Bon Jovi, disco classics to be sure. The event was great fun, and I’d definitely recommend it, although you need to go see the animals you really want to see first, because once it gets dark you can see diddlysquat. Trying your hand at balancing like a monkey in the dark could have potentially disastrous consequences.
Following on from a post by the Web Innovation Project at Exeter Uni about identity, social media and university which suggests that multiple personas are a good idea. A discussion ensued on Twitter as whether or not this was a good thing. Apparently there’s a gender question attached to it: having one digital and physical identity merged together is a very female view, whereas lots of men like to separate work & home life.
Decoding Digital Humanities snazzy new logo
The very talented Rudolf has designed a fantastic rubix cube logo for the DDH meeting that myself and my colleague Kathryn have set up. It’s a monthly get together to discuss all things digital humanities, in the pub. What’s not to like? And now we have a brilliant logo!