Digital Methods mini-workshop in Bergen
Ever since I came across the Digital Methods Initiative website I’ve wanted to attend one of their summer schools in Amsterdam, where they hack out new tools to do digitally native research on digitally native materials. They have an impressive range of tools with a lot of documentation, but I still wanted more. But two weeks in Amsterdam sadly doesn’t mesh too well with not wanting to leave the kids for that long, so I was thrilled when Yra van Dijk introduced me to Richard Rogers in Amsterdam last December, and even more thrilled with Richard and his colleague and wife Sabine Niederer agreed to come to Bergen and host a miniature workshop for us here.
Richard gave an excellent talk on what Digital Methods is to start with, then we discussed projects we were working on and, after lunch, talked about ways we might go about using digital methods in our projects and had a hands-on go at their Google Scraper tool (Lippmannian machine). Basically all the machine does is query Google for incidents of one or several key words on one or several sites – but by being able to do this across many sites at a time you save a lot of time. I had some fun comparing counts of the terms “electronic literature” and “digital literature” on a few e-lit sites. Lots of ideas and inspiration – if you haven’t yet explored their site and tried out some of the tools they’ve developed I would highly recommend it.
Richard’s book on Digital Methods is forthcoming on MIT Press next February. I’ve read a chapter and it’s good! You can find a lot of material about digital methods on the website right now, too, of course.