I’ve been working on this research idea since early January, writing about it for my last HASTAC blog post. This morning I submitted the abstract to the Jakobsen Conference, a conference for University of Iowa graduate students, and wanted to publish a copy here, too, to make it public. I will be continuing this research through April, and will be revising the abstract based on that research. I welcome any constructive criticism you might have.
The Public As Collaborator: Crowdsourcing Models for Digital Humanities Initiatives
Digital humanities projects often seek out big data but have a small budget. In their pursuit of using technology to teach us something new, some scholars have turned to crowdsourcing strategies, where the efforts of individual volunteers can contribute to a collective, significant outcome. How can examples of successful crowdsourcing projects inform future digital humanities initiatives? By looking at current examples of digital humanities projects using crowdsourcing successfully, this research proposes new models for amassing data through the assistance of an engaged public. Time, technology, and human resources affect the strategies employed in these paradigmatic examples. High-tech digital humanities projects have greater flexibility to employ gamification through algorithms, while low-tech projects depend on human-mediated processes. These models provide a guide for scholars with boundless ideas and limited budgets. For scholars who may be unsure of how they can scale up the data for their digital humanities projects, these differentiated strategies may help them start devising their own approaches.